Employers with 10 or more full-time employees who provide benefits to those full-time employees must also provide those benefits to eligible part-time employees.
Definition of "Full-Time Employee"
A full-time employee, for this section of the Act, is any employee who works 30 hours or more per week.
Benefit Plans for Part-Time Employees
Eligible benefits include dental plans, group life, accidental death or dismemberment plans, and prescription drug plans.
When Benefits Should Start for a Part-Time Employee
Part-time employees must be offered coverage under the four benefit plans when:
- they have been continuously employed for 26 weeks and have worked at least 390 hours in that period;
- after the qualifying period, they work at least 780 hours in each calendar year; and
- they are not full-time students.
Comparable benefits for comparable positions
Full-time employees who work in comparable positions receive some or all of the four benefit plans (i.e., part-time managerial employees are compared to full-time managerial employees, and part-time non-management workers are compared to full-time non-management workers).
Benefits for Students Working Part-Time
Full-time students are not eligible for coverage. This includes students enrolled in 60 per cent of a full course load at a school, university, technical institute, regional college or private vocational school.
To maintain eligibility, an employee must work at least 780 hours in a calendar year. Employees on maternity, adoption, or parental leave maintain their eligibility if they would have worked 780 hours had the leave not been taken.
How to Notify an Employee Losing Eligibility
When an employer becomes aware that an employee will lose eligibility, the employer must advise the employee, in writing, of the loss of eligibility.
Benefit Levels for Part-Time Employees
Part-time employees who work between 15 and 30 hours a week receive 50 per cent of the benefits provided to comparable full-time employees. Part-time employees who work 30 or more hours in a week receive 100 per cent of the benefits provided to comparable full-time employees.
If plan benefits are determined by a formula based on annual earnings, the same formula is to be applied to part-time workers (e.g., group life insurance formula of two times annual income).
Benefit levels that must be offered to part-time employees for dental and drug plans are "basic plans." Except for drug plans, an employer can provide plans to part-time employees based on employee-only coverage, without coverage for spouses and dependents.
How Contributions for Part-Time Employees are Determined
The contributions must be paid in the same way as the payment from full-time employees, and be proportional to the level of benefits received.
When an Employer Has Employees in More Than One Bargaining Unit
Part-time employees should receive the same benefits as the full-time employees in the same bargaining unit.