Under the ACA rules, it states that an employee is considered full-time if he or she is expected to work at least 30 hours per week, or 130 hours per month. With the employer mandate in effect, there are a few ways to assess whether or not your employees are considered full-time and eligible for employer-provided insurance.
First, review to see if an employee is expected to work 30 or more hours per week. Any employee who meets that requirement should immediately be seen as a full-time employee.
Now for the much more complicated process of determining seasonal and part-time employment. An employee is a variable-hour employee if their weekly schedule fluctuates above and below the 30 hour mark. Since there is fluctuation, it is not immediately apparent if this employee will meet the 30 hours per week or 130 hours a month necessary to be classified as a full-time employee.
The IRS has created safe harbor methods for these determinations. An employer can “look back” at a defined period to determine whether or not an employee should be included as a full-time employee. This “measurement period” can be between three and twelve consecutive months. Following the “measurement period”, there is a “stability period” where said employees are considered full-time and it is locked in for at least 6 months or the same duration as the “measurement period”. There are continual stipulations regarding the periods to follow that deal with how new “measurement” and “stability” periods are calculated and put into place.
Sound complicated? Very much so. This is a great time to meet with us and discuss strategy to comply with the provisions to save yourself future headaches.
What am I considered? A large employer or a small employer?