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ACA Academy: Full Time and Variable Employees


Learn the difference between a full-time employee and a variable employee and if an employee can switch from either full or part-time to variable.


What is the difference between a full-time employee and a variable employee?


Full timers are employees hired with the “reasonable expectation” that they will work at least 30 hours per week. They must be offered insurance after their first 3 full months of work.

Examples of “reasonable expectation” may include some of the following circumstances:

  • Are other employees in the same position considered to be full time?
  • Was he hired to replace a full-time employee?
  • Was the job advertised as a full-time job?
  • Does the contract indicate that it is a full-time position?

A variable employee has an uncertain work schedule at the time of hire, so it can’t be determined whether he’s reasonably expected to work 30 hours per week. Hours worked by variable employers are measured for a specified time period to determine if they are full or part-time and whether insurance must be offered.


Can an employee switch from either full or part-time to variable?


Yes, but restriction apply and changes should be done with caution.

At Viventium, we are committed to helping you with the increased compliance requirements that have resulted from rapidly evolving legislation.  We aim to minimize your administrative burden across the entire spectrum of employment-related payroll, tax, HR, and benefits so that you can focus on the work that matters: running your business.  We provide you with this information as a way to amplify your understanding of the impact of regulatory requirements – but please do not construe this information as tax or legal advice.  By nature, this information is subject to revision and might not be the most up-to-date information available.  We encourage you to consult with the appropriate legal and tax advisors before making any decisions.

Topics: ACA, Payroll, ACA Academy

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