Variable Hours

Although in many cases, the 30 hour per week calculation is fairly straightforward, for employers with variable hour or seasonal employees, the waters can become a bit muddied.

In order to be certain you are compliant with the regulations, the following outlines a process to follow in order to comply with the proposed measurement and stability period regulations for variable hour, part-time, and seasonal workers.

Steps for Compliance

  • Choose a look-back measurement period of 3 to 12 months and a stability period of no less than 6 months or the length of the measurement period, if greater
  • If an employee averages 30 or more hours per week during the measurement period, the employee must be considered full-time for the subsequent stability period; if not, the employee will be considered not full-time for the stability period
  • You may use an administrative period of up to 90 days between measurement and stability periods to conduct enrollment
  • Employees not employed for a full “standard” measurement period must be evaluated on a rolling basis when employment reaches the length of the “initial” measurement period selected for new employees (e.g., on the employee’s 1-year anniversary for a 12-month measurement period).

Having a firm understanding of the requirements for variable hour employees under the new mandates is just the beginning. Balancing the financial and operational exposures with respect to hiring and staffing against the new ACA taxes and fees is essential, yet both complex and potentially costly.