When evaluating your job earnings, you may run across the terms “part time” and “per diem” on your pay stub. These terms indicate two different ways you may be paid for your job. It is important to understand the differences between them so you can get a clear picture of your salary’s origins.
“Part time” indicates that you work at a certain job less than full time each week. Part-time employees are usually paid an hourly wage instead of a salary, although this is not always the case.
Hours for Part Time
Each company sets its own standard of what is full time and what is part time. In some companies, working less than 30 hours may mean you have a part-time job. In others, 40 hours may be the full-time mark.
Part-time employees may or may not have access to the same benefits full time workers do. Some companies offer part-time employees scaled down benefits, and other companies do not offer part-time employees benefits at all.
The words “per diem” mean “per day,” and they usually refer to the amount of money a company pays its employees to cover expenses such as travel, hotels and food. Employees who are attending training conferences or who work out of town may receive per diem pay in addition to their wages or salaries.
What Per Diem Pays For
Per diem pay does not replace the money you make for working. Some companies may reimburse employees for their expenses when they are working or training out of town, while others may pay employees for these expenses before they leave town. Per diem does not bear on the eligibility of an employee for other benefits the company offers, such as health insurance or bonuses.
Per diem pay is not restricted to only full-time employees. Per diem is usually a cash addition to an employee’s wages or salary to cover expenses necessary for daily living when away from the employee’s regular job site.
Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.