Writing a Letter Requesting Part Time Hours [with Sample]

There are a variety of circumstances that may necessitate a change from working full-time to part-time. Although it is not always easy to ask an employer for this change, often there is no choice. 

There are ways this request can be made politely and persuasively to convince an employer that the change will have as little impact as possible. A letter highlighting the positive aspects can be helpful.

Assess The Situation

Before writing the letter, make a list of what parts of the job would be affected by the change. Is it possible to perform the same job duties competently working part time?

Some positions within the company, such as managers, may be required to work a certain number of hours. If so, it might necessary to step down and take another position.

If this is not the case, an employer may be willing to allow the employee to retain their position. This is particularly true if the employee makes a convincing argument regarding how they will ensure their continued production.

Writing The Request Letter

The opening paragraph should focus on the employee. This should include the title held, how long he or she has worked for this company, and why the reduction in hours is necessary. 

Make certain the request is being sent to the right person whether it is the human resource department or a supervisor. The employee should include the contributions they have made that had a positive impact on the company. 

This should be pointed out in a manner that is polite rather than sounding as if they are bragging. If the contributions resulted in added revenue for the company, include this information.

Reason For The Request

An explanation of the reason for the request should be included as well. It may be that the employee is planning to enroll in school to seek a degree. 

If this is the reason, and it will be beneficial to the position held, make sure and explain this to the employer. There are other extenuating circumstances that could require a change from full-time to part-time. 

This could include the need to care for an elderly relative or children. Since the employer will be considering the request, they may require a reason as to why it is being made.

The employee should assure the employer they wish to continue to work for the company even if they must move from a salaried position to an hourly one. Express the willingness to help train a replacement, if necessary.

It could mean the employee must take a new position with different responsibilities within the company. Researching the positions that are available before requesting the change is a good idea.

The Closing

The closing should include the employee’s appreciation for considering the request as well as the opportunity to work for this company. Extend the offer to discuss the situation if the employer has any questions.

Sample Letter Requesting Part-Time Hours

Lori Hand
123 Oak Street, Apt. 234
Oakland, CA 20007
(324) 123 – 7777

May 03, 2022

Jenny Clark
ABC Company
456 Sales Road
Oakland, CA 20005

RE: Part-Time Hours

Dear Ms. Clark:

I have been employed as the office assistant with ABC Company for five years. I am currently planning to begin attending school to obtain my degree in business administration. Due to this decision, I will need to decrease my hours from full-time to part-time.

During the time I have been at ABC Company, I am proud to have helped implement (contributions made that improved profits or work environment). I will continue to strive to provide the same level of excellence while working part time.

I have truly enjoyed working on the many projects here, but attending school to obtain my degree is going to take up a great deal of my time.

The schedule will be demanding, although the positive aspect is that I hope to use this knowledge to increase my contributions to the company. 

At this time I do not feel that I would be able to maintain the standards I expect from myself by doing both. It is my desire to remain with ABC Company, and I am willing to consider part-time positions. 

I am willing to train a replacement for my position, if needed. I will be starting school on (date classes begin) and will complete all paperwork and any loose ends by this date.

I appreciate your support in this matter. If you have any questions, you can contact me at (324) 123 – 7777. Once I receive my degree, I hope to be even more of an asset to ABC Company.


Lori Hand


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the reasons an employee may request part-time hours?

Answer: An employee may request part-time hours for a variety of reasons, such as to care for a family member, to attend school, to pursue other interests or obligations, or for personal or health reasons. Some employees may also prefer to work part-time in order to maintain a better work-life balance.

2. How should an employee approach their employer about requesting part-time hours?

Answer: An employee should approach their employer professionally and respectfully. It’s best to schedule a meeting with the appropriate supervisor or manager to discuss the request, and to be prepared to provide a clear and concise explanation of the reasons for the request, as well as any relevant information that supports it.

3. What should an employee do if their request for part-time hours is denied?

Answer: If an employee’s request for part-time hours is denied, they should ask their employer for an explanation. If the employee believes that the denial is unjustified or discriminatory, they should consider consulting with an attorney or contacting a government agency such as the EEOC or the Department of Labor.

4. Are there any laws that protect an employee’s right to request part-time hours?

Answer: In the United States, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives eligible employees the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for certain family or medical reasons, and some states have additional protections. 

Additionally, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may protect employees with certain disabilities who need part-time hours as a reasonable accommodation. It’s best to consult with your HR department or legal counsel to learn about the laws specific to your workplace.

5. What should an employee do if their employer agrees to their request for part-time hours?

Answer: If an employer agrees to an employee’s request for part-time hours, the employee should ensure that the new schedule and terms of the arrangement are clearly understood by both parties. 

The employee should also be sure to document the agreement and make sure that any necessary changes are made to their employment contract or other official documents.

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