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Part Time Workers

Who is a part-time worker?

A part-time worker is a person who is not a full-time worker, ie. a person usually working 35 hours per week or more.

What rights do part-time workers enjoy?

The Part-Time Workers Regulations were introduced from 1 July 2001 to provide a range of legal protections over pay, benefits and rights. Part-time workers are entitled to equality with full-time workers over:

  • pay rates (including sick pay, maternity, paternity, adoption leave and holiday pay)
  • pension benefits
  • holidays
  • training and career development
  • selection for promotion and redundancy
  • career breaks and development

These payments or benefits will be adjusted pro rata according to the hours worked by the part-timer.

Are there any restrictions on these rights?

Differences in pay and pension benefits can be objectively justified on grounds that there is good reason for the difference. For example, the cost of providing an equivalent benefit is disproportionate without a contribution towards the extra cost. Furthermore, part-time workers must also work the same hours as a full-time worker before they become entitled to overtime.

What action can part-time workers take?

The first step is for part-timers to request a written statement of reasons for their treatment from their employer. This should be made in writing and the employer must respond within 21 days explaining the reasons.

Thereafter if the part-timer remains dissatisfied then a claim may be made to an Employment Tribunal.

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