Hiring the right staff is key to running your business. However, some employers struggle with the question of whether to hire a full-time or part-time employee.
Hiring a full-time employee is a commitment. So, before you hire, it is important that you fully understand their employment rights.
In this guide, we’ll explain what full-time employees are, the law regarding them, and the benefits of hiring full-time staff.
What are Full-Time Employees?
A full-time employee is an employee who is required to work a certain number of hours per week. Full-time employees commonly work between 30 to 40 hours each week.
Most full-time employees work eight hours a day, five days a week. In other cases, some employers require employees to work additional hours under an averaging agreement.
There are various types of jobs and industries that hire full-time employees. Some full-time employment requires a certain level of education, work experience and skills. Some specialized workplaces that hire full-time employees include:
- Teachers or instructors.
- Skilled trades (e.g. electrician or plumber).
- Insurance adjusters.
Full-time employees can also receive a range of benefit entitlements provided by the employer. Some entitlements for full-time employees can include:
- Health benefits.
- Stock options.
- Car Allowance.
Who is Considered a Full-Time Employee?
It is up to you to define what a full-time employee is in your business.
If you intend to hire a full-time employee, you should state that they are full-time in the employment contract. This will ensure both parties understand their rights during employment. This includes meeting the minimum hours for a full-time employee under the employment contract.
When to Hire a Full-Time Employee
Whether it is your first time hiring a full-time employee or not, there are a few things to consider before starting the recruitment process such as:
- Whether there is a large amount of work beyond the capacity of yourself or current employees.
- Whether the large amount of work will be short-term.
- Whether you are in a financial position to hire a full-time employee.
- Whether you require a new full-time employee with a specific or specialized set of skills.
Determining whether you should hire a full-time employee boils down to your business needs.
What is the Law Regarding Full-Time Employees?
Full-time employee’s rights are protected under employment standards legislation. Employment standards legislation sets the basic conditions of employment which include wages, hours of work, and overtime.
For example, full time employee’s rights in Ontario are governed by the Employment Standards Act. The Employment Standards Act applies to full-time and part-time employees. Other provinces include:
- British Columbia’s Employment Standards Act.
- Alberta’s Employment Standard Code.
- Manitoba’s Employment Standard Code.
- The Saskatchewan Employment Act.
- Newfoundland & Labrador’s Labour Standards Act.
- Nova Scotia’s Labour Standards Code.
- New Brunswick’s Employment Standards Act.
Federally regulated full-time employees are covered under the Canada Labour Code.
Employers must comply with employment standards legislation that protect full-time employees’ rights. Any violation of their rights may lead to fines or even lawsuits.
Are Full-Time Employees Entitled to Sick Pay?
Full-time employees are entitled to sick leave according to employment standards legislation. However, not all employers are required to pay their employees for taking time away from work because they are sick.
Employers in British Columbia and federally regulated workplaces are required to pay an employee sick pay. For example, employees in British Columbia who have worked 90 consecutive days are entitled to five paid sick days per year.
In all other jurisdictions, employers are not required to pay their employee’s sick pay. However, you may choose to pay their employees a certain amount of sick pay, which is common as an added benefit.
Do Full-Time Employees get Paid Vacation?
All employees, whether they are full-time or part-time, are entitled to vacation pay under employment standards legislation. How they are paid their vacation pay may vary.
In some jurisdictions, employers are required to pay their employee prior to taking vacation time. In other provinces, employers may pay their employees prior to taking vacation or in accordance with employee pay periods.
For example, employers in Ontario may pay their employees vacation pay on pay day and provide the employees with unpaid vacation time.
It is important that you check the applicable employment standards legislation that applies to your business to ensure you are complying with the law.
The Benefits of Full-Time Employees to a Business
There are several benefits of hiring full-time employees in your business. These benefits include:
- Ease of scheduling: Full-time employees are guaranteed a minimum number of hours of work per week. You can create a schedule that is predictable to ensure that employees know when they are expected to work.
- More hours of work per person: Every job requires a certain number of hours. By allocating the hours to a few employees rather than a group of part-time employees, it will help reduce scheduling issues and can result in potential financial savings (e.g. insurance premiums).
- Employee Loyalty: Full-time employees are often more reliable and loyal to your business. Working full-time creates a sense of job security and predictability. To help increase and maintain loyalty, it is important to continue to invest in your employees.
What Happens if I Don’t Give my Full-Time Employees Their Employee Rights?
If you don’t give your employees the basic rights under employment standards legislation, the employee may file a complaint to the applicable employment standards office.
For example, in all provinces, employees are entitled to a break if they work a minimum number of hours in a day. If you do not give the employee their entitled break, the employee may file a complaint for contravening this right.
In addition, if an employer changes a fundamental term of the employment contract, the employee may claim constructive dismissal. For example, an employee who was hired to permanently work from home may claim constructive dismissal if the employer requires them to come to the office every day.
It is important that you comply with employment standards legislation to avoid hefty fines or lawsuits.
Get Advice on Full-Time Employees with BrightHR
If you are deciding whether to hire a full-time employee or not, it is important that you assess your business’ needs and priorities before engaging in the recruitment process. You may also want to inquire about different methods of hiring such as part-time workers or even independent contractors.
If you need assistance with full-time employees in your business, our BrightAdvice service allows you to receive quality advice on any employment issues you may have.