What are the different types of work / workers?

Which of these 8 types of work is best for you?​

There is more to employment than full-time and part-time.

As a busy parent, you might want to be a different kind of worker.

Let's have a look at your options.

Full time

Full-time normally describes employment of 35+ hours per week. But the number of hours can differ, depending on the employer.

Part time

Part-time describes employment for fewer hours than a full-time worker. The number of hours can differ a great deal. You should receive the same rate of pay as a full-time worker for the same job.

Pro rata

Pro rata means you earn a proportion of the job's salary. This amount covers the hours/days you work.

For example: 

  • An employer advertises a job at £26,000 (pro rata). 
  • You work 2.5 days a week (half the full-time equivalent).
  • You receive half of the salary.

Zero hours / Casual worker

A zero-hours contract doesn't entitle you to a minimum number of working hours. It isn't constant work. It's as and when. Hospitality, care work and other service areas typically use zero-hours contracts. You still have certain employee rights including, minimum wage and paid holidays. In most cases, your employer cannot prevent you from working for another employer.

For example:

  • One week you could work 35 hours.
  • The following week, just 10 hours.
  • Some weeks you might not work any hours at all.

Term time only

Term-time only contracts can vary. The employer will usually pay an employee for a specific number of weeks throughout the year. Often between 38 and 39 weeks. This is then usually divided over the year. Employees are not entitled to holiday pay. This type of employment is typical in the education sector.


During a traineeship you will earn a lesser wage while learning the main elements of the job. A traineeship may or may not result in a recognised qualification.


You have to be 16+ to do an apprenticeship. You will gain skills, experience and usually a recognised qualification – through a combination of working and studying. In some instances, the cost of training is covered by the employer or government.

Flexible working vs family-friendly working

Flexible working options might not mean family-friendly hours. Times, payment and conditions of employment will probably vary for each employer. Always find out what is possible in advance of applying for a job.

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