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Do Temporary Employees Get Benefits?

October 10, 2022 | Career Blog

A temporary job is an excellent way to get a feel for different types of work, earn money, and gain experience in various industries. These jobs can also often lead to permanent positions or even successful careers.

However, considering temporary employment, you may wonder, “Do temporary employees get benefits?” The answer to that question isn’t always straightforward.

Whether or not you’ll receive benefits in a temporary job depends on how many hours you work, what type of industry you’re working in, the U.S. state you work in, and how your position is classified. Let’s take a closer look at these issues.

3 Questions Related to Employee Benefits for Temp Workers

Find answers to common questions you may have about benefits for temporary workers.

1. How do Benefits Work for Temporary Employees?

Temporary employees are employed for a set amount of time. This time might be a few days, a few weeks, or even months. When companies hire employees for short-term jobs, the end date of the position is usually defined.

Additionally, temporary workers can be either full-time or part-time employees. Whether you’re part-time or full-time will help to determine whether you qualify for benefits. An employee who works 30 hours or more per week is considered full-time and should be eligible for benefits, whether they’re a temporary or regular employee.

This still doesn’t mean that every temporary job will provide benefits, however, even if the position is full-time. Other factors to consider are how large the company is and what the state laws and regulations require.

What the Affordable Care Act Says About Benefits

According to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), companies with more than 50 employees must provide benefits for at least 95% of all full-time employees without discrimination. Smaller companies can also be penalized if they don’t offer the correct benefits to employees, and these penalties can include severe fines.

Generally, employers have 90 days to offer benefits to employees hired as full-time workers. When companies hire temporary workers, they may decide that the employee will be full-time right away. Other employees have flexible hours and may work part-time some weeks and full-time other weeks.

For employees with flexible hours, companies can implement what’s known as a look-back plan. After a certain time period, such as six or 12 months, companies will look back at an employee’s average hours. If you average over 30 hours per week, you will usually be eligible for benefits.

If an employee is hired with variable hours, but the company assumes that the employee will work more than 30 hours, on average, per week, benefits should be offered within three months.

Some temporary workers still won’t qualify for benefits, even if they do work more than 30 hours per week. Freelancers or independent contractors, for example, are not eligible for benefits. If you receive a 1099 instead of a W2, you won’t be eligible for benefits, as you’re not technically classified as an employee of the company.

2. Do Seasonal Workers Earn Benefits?

Benefits are treated a little differently as it relates to seasonal workers. Unlike regular employees, seasonal employees are hired to fill a need during a particularly busy time of year. 

These short-term employees are not eligible for benefits under the Affordable Care Act or any other federal laws. Despite this, most employers implement the look-back method with seasonal employees, and if the employee has worked an average of 30 hours per week, they’re often offered benefits.

3. What Types of Benefits Are Available to Temporary Employees?

Exactly what benefits an employee is eligible for depends on the regulations in your state. Some states require certain benefits, such as paid sick leave or paid time off (PTO), for all employees, regardless of their status. Other states do not, and these benefits might never be offered to short-term employees.

Whether you are eligible for benefits or not, most temp workers are offered paid sick leave and health insurance. You may even be offered dental insurance and help with college fees.

Find Temporary Work with Benefits Through Allegiance Staffing

Temporary positions are a great way to try out new fields, see what you like, or pick up various skills. Temporary jobs can help to fill gaps in a resume, and the skills you learn in different positions can be applied to your resume and future jobs.

If you feel that a temporary job is right for you and you would like to find a position that offers benefits, consider working with a staffing agency such as Allegiance Staffing.

Our helpful and knowledgeable staff will help you find the right opportunity that fits your skills and career goals. To get started, you can check out our Jobs Board for positions in your area, or you can contact us today to find out more about temporary jobs near you. We look forward to helping you out!