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Full-time to Part-time

Converting from Full-time to Part-Time

Staff and faculty transitioning from full-time benefits eligible status to part-time benefits eligible status should be aware of the following potential impacts to their job classification, time-off accruals, and benefits. Part-time employees are staff and faculty who work fewer than 37.5 standard weekly hours. Employees must work at least 18.75 standard weekly hours to remain benefits eligible.

Please note that if a currently benefits-eligible employee reduces their hours below 18.75 hours per week, they will no longer be eligible for benefits. Therefore the employee must be terminated and rehired as a temporary employee. The employee will be paid for unused vacation and personal floating holidays per University policy and will be subject to the policies and procedures for temporary staff.

Exempt or Non-Exempt Classification (Staff only)

Conversion from full-time to part-time may impact one’s job classification:

Accrued Vacation Time (Staff only)

Immediately following the conversion from full-time to part-time, staff members will begin accruing vacation time prorated based on their reduced standard weekly hours. In addition, it is important to note that their maximum accrual limit will be reduced when they convert to a part-time schedule, and they could be subject to forfeiting vacation time previously accrued when they were full-time. Accrued vacation time cannot exceed one and one-half times the newly reduced part-time annual accrual. The following chart indicates when a staff member could stand to forfeit accrued vacation time after converting to part-time status:

Current Full-Time Status

New Part-time Status

Vacation Accrual Impact



Accrued vacation above the reduced maximum accrual will be forfeited at the end of the fiscal year.



Accrued vacation above the reduced maximum accrual will be forfeited the first bi-weekly pay period following the conversion to part-time.



Accrued vacation above the reduced maximum accrual limit will be forfeited the first bi-weekly pay period following the conversion to part-time.

To avoid forfeiting previously accrued vacation time, staff members should work with their manager and local HR representative to exhaust their accrued vacation in excess of the reduced maximum accrual prior to converting to part-time. 

The staff member, manager, or HR representative may email and provide the following information to receive a calculation of the new maximum accrual limit for the pending part-time schedule:

Eligibility to Change Benefits Coverage

When a faculty or staff member changes from full-time to part-time, it is not considered a Qualifying Life Event (QLE).  Therefore, employees generally will not be able to make changes to current benefits elections for health & welfare plans until open enrollment, which will become effective at the beginning of the calendar year following open enrollment. 

Note, changes can be made to retirement contribution amounts and commuter benefits at any time during the year.

Health & Dental Insurance

Both the health and dental plans have higher premiums for part-time employees.

Vision Insurance

The vision premium is the same for both full-time and part-time benefits eligible faculty and staff.

Health Care FSA

Change from a full-time to part-time benefits-eligible role will not impact the ability to contribute or use funds from a Health Care FSA.

Dependent Care FSA

Employees must be full-time to participate in a Dependent Care FSA.  Deductions will stop on the pay period following the change to part-time employment.  You will not be able to submit any dependent care claims for reimbursement for expenses that occur after your transition to part-time.  You have until the end of the plan year to submit claims from January 1 through the date you transitioned to part-time employment.  Information on filing a claim can be found on the website.

Life & Long-Term Disability Insurance

The eligible salary for both life insurance plans and long-term disability is recalculated when transitioning from full-time to part-time. This means the benefit paid out by these plans will be smaller than when one was employed in a full-time capacity.

Retirement Plans

Eligibility to contribute to the 403(b) retirement plans are not impacted when converting from a full-time to a part-time benefits-eligible role.  Note: the university contribution to the retirement plan is a percentage of eligible income.  When income is decreased by working less hours the university contribution is calculated using the new earned income.

Retirement Eligibility

The years of service to be considered a retiree of the university are different for full-time and part-time employees. See the retiree eligibility website for more information.

Tuition Benefits

Eligibility for tuition benefits is not extended to part-time employment.  If an employee is currently taking advantage of the tuition benefits, the benefit will cease at the end of the term in which they transitioned to part-time employment.

Holidays and Winter Recess (Staff only)

Holiday and Winter Recess pay will be prorated based on the staff member’s part-time standard weekly hours (e.g., regardless of daily work schedule, an employee who works 20 standard weekly hours will be paid 4 hours for each University Holiday).

Personal Floating Holidays and Sick Time (Staff only)

Personal Floating Holidays, Incidental Sick Time (IST) and Extended Sick Time (EST) allotments will be prorated to reflect the new part-time standard weekly hours and are also based on date of hire.

On-campus Parking

Parking rates may change when transitioning from full-time to part-time employment. Please contact the Evanston or Chicago Parking Offices for more information.


This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all impacts of converting to part-time; other benefits may also be impacted. If you have questions about a specific benefit or a benefit that is not included on this list, please contact