We introduce partial actions of weakly left E-ample semigroups, thus extending both the notion of partial actions of inverse semigroups and that of partial actions of monoids. Weakly left E-ample semigroups arise very naturally as subsemigroups of partial transformation semigroups which are closed under the unary operation α↦α+, where α+ is the identity map on the domain of α. We investigate the construction of ‘actions’ from such partial actions, making a connection with the FA-morphisms of Gomes. We observe that if the methods introduced in the monoid case by Megrelishvili and Schröder, and by the second author, are to be extended appropriately to the case of weakly left E-ample semigroups, then we must construct not global actions, but so-called incomplete actions. In particular, we show that a partial action of a weakly left E-ample semigroup is the restriction of an incomplete action. We specialize our approach to obtain corresponding results for inverse semigroups.