6.340.1 Other Than Full-Time Career Employment (Part-Time, Seasonal, and Intermittent)


  1. The Federal Employees Part-Time Career Employment Act of 1978 was established to continually provide career part-time employment opportunities and to provide management the flexibility to maximize the use of human capital. The Department of Treasury delegated IRS responsibility for establishing and maintaining a part-time career program. Title 5 USC § 3401-3403 provides the foundation for agencies to establish a part-time career opportunity program.

  2. This IRM describes less than full-time career employment and the IRS Part-time Career Employment Program, which applies to all IRS organizational components and employees, unless otherwise stated. Negotiated agreements may amend, supersede, or supplement agency guidelines.

  3. References:

    • 5 CFR Part 315

    • 5 CFR Part 340

    • 5 CFR Part 531

    • 5 CFR Part 610

    • 5 CFR Part 630

    • 60 FR 3061, January 13, 1995

    • 5 USC § 3401-3403

    • 5 USC § 5542

    • 5 USC § 6101

    • Fair Labor Standards Act

    • Federal Employees Part-Time Career Employment Act 1978

    • Pub. L. No. 95-347

    • OPM’s Guide to Processing Personnel Actions, Chapters 6, 15, 16 and 24.


  1. Seasonal Employment - Annually recurring work periods of less than 12 months each year. Seasonal employees are permanent employees who are placed in non-duty/non-pay status and recalled to duty in accordance with pre-established conditions of employment.

  2. Intermittent Employment - Employment without a regularly scheduled tour of duty. An intermittent work schedule is appropriate only when the nature of the work is sporadic and unpredictable so that a tour of duty cannot be regularly scheduled in advance.

  3. Part-Time Career Employment - Regularly scheduled work from 16 to 32 hours per week performed by an employee as defined in 5 USC § 3401(a) through (f) with an appointment in Tenure Group I or II and who was employed on a part-time basis on or after April 8,1979.

    1. Hours may temporarily change for up to two consecutive weeks; if necessary, to meet the needs of the organization’s workload requirements, training, and the mission of the Service, but the employee’s schedule must remain at 32 hours per week or less.

    2. An agency may permit an employee who has an appointment in Tenure Group I or II to perform regularly scheduled work from 1 to 15 hours per week under the exception contained in 5 CFR § 340.101(a) and the authority in 5 USC § 3402(a)(3).

  4. Mixed tour of Duty - A work schedule that may be changed from full-time, part-time, or intermittent to accommodate workloads.

    1. The term "part-time career employment" does not apply to employees with appointments in tenure groups I or II who work under mixed tours of duty.

    2. For this purpose, a mixed tour of duty consists of annually recurring periods of full-time, part-time, or intermittent service as long as the employee does not work part-time more than 6 pay periods per calendar year.

"Manager's Guide to Hiring a Less Than Full-time Workforce "

  1. "The Manager’s Guide to Hiring a Less Than Full-time Workforce" provides information on various appointment types, work schedules, seasonal agreements, benefits, probationary periods, recruitment options, etc. Useful web links are provided throughout the document that can further assist with many of the employment-related questions that may impact less than full-time employees.

  2. To locate the "Manager’s Guide to Hiring a Less Than Full-time Workforce" go to: http://hco.web.irs.gov/recruitstaff/externalhire/filingseason/worksched/index.html

Seasonal Employment

  1. "Seasonal" identifies a work schedule and is not an appointment type. Seasonal employment is appropriate when the work recurs predictably year-to-year and is expected to last at least 6 months during a calendar year. The season must be defined as closely as possible so that an employee will have a reasonably clear idea of how much work can be expected. A seasonal employment agreement (Form 8506, Seasonal Employment Agreement), must be executed between management and the seasonal employee prior to the employee’s entering on duty in accordance with 5 CFR § 340.402(c).

  2. IRS may assign seasonal employees to other seasonal work in lieu of releasing the employee during the projected layoff period. Title 5 CFR Part 340 provides for the placement of seasonal employees who have completed the season for which they were hired into other seasonal positions. Employees may be reassigned at the end of the first season to another position with a different season and a new seasonal employment agreement.

  3. The movement of employees to provide continued employment might result in 12 months or more of continuous employment. Employees are allowed to work more than one season provided they have completed the season for which they were hired. The following applies to extended seasons and is subject to merit promotion procedures:

    1. Movement to a higher graded position; or

    2. Movement to a position with promotion potential.

  4. Managers should complete an addendum to the seasonal employment agreement that spells out the new season and position. The addendum should be attached to the original agreement and filed with the employee’s manager.

  5. The Service’s other than full time workforce has typically been career conditional appointments with a seasonal work schedule; though seasonal work schedules can also be used with temporary and term appointments. Less than full-time employment encompasses work schedules that are seasonal, part-time, intermittent, or mixed tours of duty.

  6. It is important to note that if a career/career-conditional seasonal employee is worked continuously in the same position for a full year, the work schedule of the position should be made non-seasonal.

IRS Part-Time Career Employment Program

  1. The IRS Part-time Career Employment Program provides part-time career employment opportunities to the maximum extent possible based on resources and mission requirements for positions up to the GS-15 or equivalent, including payband positions as determined by each business unit. Business units establish goals and timetables to determine the availability of part-time employment opportunities.

  2. The Program is administered without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, politics, marital status, age, non-disqualifying physical handicap, sexual orientation, personal favoritism, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, or activity or office in an employee organization.

  3. The program is used in conjunction with the negotiated agreement.

Program Coverage

  1. Part-time employment is not limited to specific positions. Management may fill any position when the arrangement meets the needs of the organization and the mission of the Service. The Program covers encumbered positions with a regularly scheduled tour of duty of 16-32 hours a week in either the competitive or excepted service of Tenure Group I or II.


  1. Recruiting for part-time career employees enables management to plan and meet the workload needs of the operation. For example, sites scheduled to ramp down within the next few years might consider using part-time or seasonal temporary or term appointments, with not-to-exceed dates that precede the ramp down dates.

  2. Permanent part-time employment also provides for employees:

    1. Gradual transition into retirement for retirement eligibles;

    2. Employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities;

    3. Employment opportunities to others who require a reduced work week;

    4. Employment opportunities to parents who need to balance family responsibilities with the need for additional income; and

    5. Employment opportunities for students who must finance their own education or vocational training.

Other Program Information

  1. Part-time employment opportunities must be clearly stated in the vacancy announcement and on external public vacancy announcements. When positions have been identified as part-time, management should permit employees to request and receive consideration to change from full-time to part-time whenever feasible. This is considered a non-competitive action.

  2. Employees in covered positions must meet qualification and eligibility requirements in accordance with the Office of Personnel Management Operating Manual for Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions.

  3. Part-time employees have the same rights as full-time employees in actions relating to discipline or performance. Adverse and performance-based actions include suspensions, removals, furloughs and reduction in grade.

  4. An involuntary reduction in the tour-of-duty for part-time employees is an adverse action; accordingly, care should be taken in setting the tour-of-duty at a level that can be maintained throughout the year.

  5. A full-time employee is not required to accept a part-time position as a condition of continued employment.

  6. Part-time and part-time job-sharing employees have assignment rights only to part-time positions and compete separately from full-time employees during reduction-in-force (RIF). Full-time employees have assignment rights only to full-time positions and cannot displace a part-time employee.

  7. Temporary increases in the work hours for part-time employees may be effective for no more than two pay periods. These temporary increases do not require documentation with an SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action. Increases which will extend beyond two pay periods are considered changes in the tour-of-duty and should be documented on the SF-50 with an appropriate Not to Exceed (NTE) date.

  8. Employees should be notified of the following when applying for part-time positions.

    1. The government contribution for the health benefit premium is prorated. For example, a part-time employee who has a 20-hour work week will receive one-half (20 hours/40 hours) of the normal government contribution.

    2. In determining qualifications, part-time employment is credited based on the relation it bears to the normal work week (40 hours per week). That is, an employee who has one year of experience at 20 hours per week will receive credit for six months of experience.

    3. In determining eligibility requirements and eligibility for a within-grade increase, part-time employment is credited on a calendar basis. That is, it is credited at the same rate as full-time employment.

  9. Employees participating in the Part-time Career Employment Program are entitled to earn overtime pay, compensatory time, leave for religious observance, holiday pay or other rights in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Over time rates apply only to hours in excess of eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week.

Job Sharing

  1. Job sharing is covered under the Part-time Employment Program since the schedules of two part-time employees are arranged to cover the duties of a single full-time position. It provides an opportunity for employees to work part-time when management has determined that the position requires full-time coverage. Any position may be filled by a single part-time employee or more than one part-time employee when the arrangements meet the needs of the IRS.

  2. Job sharing flexibility provides:

    1. Coverage during another job share employee’s absence;

    2. Extra hours of work to be performed when there are unexpected workloads; and

    3. Opportunities for job share employees to build individual strengths.

  3. Though more than one employee may share the responsibility for the same position, each employee participating in job sharing is required to have his or her own:

    1. Performance plan;

    2. Critical job elements; and

    3. Evaluation of his or her performance relating to the performance standards.

Human Resource Capital Planning

  1. Each business operating division’s annual human capital planning process should include the use of part-time and job sharing positions when it is in the best interest of the organization. Consideration should be given to:

    • Workload fluctuations;

    • Employment ceilings and budgetary considerations;

    • Size of the workforce;

    • Turnover rate and employment trends;

    • Vacant positions and availability of qualified applicants willing to work part-time;

    • Potential for improving service to the public; and

    • Other local needs.