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Types of work arrangement and hours

Find the working arrangement that fits your career and lifestyle.

Full time

  • Full time usually means a person works 40 hours a week, but could mean from 30 to 40 hours.
  • Start and finish times can vary depending on circumstances. For example, a parent might start early or work shorter hours so they can collect their children from school.
  • Full-time employees sometimes work shifts, and may work outside of standard business hours. These shifts may be set hours, or change from week to week.

Part time

  • Part time means a person works a set amount of hours each week, which can range from a few to around 30 hours. For example, a student may work every Saturday for eight hours to help with study costs. 
  • Part-time work is a good option if you have family members to look after, want to study or have a primary job with irregular hours.

Casual work

  • Casual workers are usually hired for one-off business needs or ongoing, irregular work. For example, a retail store may need extra help over the Christmas period and hire some casual staff for the month of December. 
  • Casual work can lead to permanent work and is a good way to meet people in industries you want to work in.

Seasonal work

A seasonal worker picking apples

Seasonal work is limited to certain times of the year

  • Seasonal work can only be carried out at certain times of the year.
  • The work is usually on farms and in forests, orchards and market gardens.
  • Seasonal workers may need to move around the country to find jobs.

Contract or freelance work

  • Contractors or freelancers are similar to casual staff, but are usually hired to do a particular piece of work. They will often have specialist skills that an organisation needs for specific projects. 
  • Contractors can be self-employed, or work through an agency or business.
  • Contractors may work part-time or full-time hours for a fixed period of time.


Working from home

  • Many employers offer staff the opportunity to work off-site, usually from home, for some or all of their working week.
  • Staff are able to keep in regular contact with other staff through email and the internet. 
  • Working remotely from home is a good option for people who don't live close to their workplace. It also allows more flexibility with hours, depending on the employer.

Portfolio work

  • Portfolio work means working for different employers in two or more part-time roles. This can include freelance or contract work and self-employment. Together, these jobs can add up to full-time work.
  • The work could be in quite different fields.
  • Constantly looking out for new work opportunities requires motivation.

Updated 17 Jan 2019