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How does B Lab define the different worker types?

Full Time Workers

Work all 12 months of the year, 37.5 hrs a week (or equivalent FT in your country.

Part Time Workers

Work all 12 month of the year, less than 37.5 hrs a week.

Temporary Workers

Do NOT work all 12 months of the year. Can be full- or part- time.

Independent Contractors

B Lab counts independent contractors who work for the company for 20+ hours for 6+ months as ‘workers’. So, they are eligible for inclusion in your total worker count. So, make sure that the number of independent contractor types doesn't make the difference between being on two different worker tracks within the BIA, e.g 10- 49 or 50-249. 

B Lab includes these people because of the quantum of influence and impact the business has on the whole working life of that contractor. It ensures that applying companies are encouraged not to create a big gap between how they might treat formal employees vs contracted workers who are working enough to be a de facto employee.

Worker-Owners / Founders

Include in the total worker count ONLY if they own <5% of the company.  If there are several owners on payroll all owning >5% of the company, it still has 0 workers. If a company has more workers and is in the 1-9 and above track, then the owners on salary should be included in worker metric questions.


This is any outsourced staffing services where a third party organisation is providing staff instead of your own employees. For example, you may have an agreement with a security firm to provide on site personnel, an agency that provides receptionists, or outsourced payroll provision. Subcontractor organisations are suppliers; the staff they provide are not considered as workers. But they would be relevant to any questions relevant to subcontracted staff.


Anyone who holds the position of a ‘Director / Head of’, Vice President or C-Suite level position. This does create some challenges for organisations that are highly decentralised and/or self-managed and therefore executive positions are more opaque. But most companies (even with such a set up) will have a core collection of individuals who hold senior leadership responsibility.

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  1. John Featherby

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