Part-time employees have the same employment protection rights as full-timers.
There is no definition of what is part-time - a part-time worker is somebody who works fewer hours than a full time colleague. Neither is there is a definition of what is full-time but it would rather be what the business regards as full-time.
The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 provide that if you are a part-time worker, you have the right not to be treated by your employer less favourably than comparable full-time workers doing the same or a similar job in respect of:
- The terms of your contract including pay, holiday, and all benefits
- Being subjected to any other detriment by any act or deliberate failure to act
However, this right only applies if the detrimental treatment is on the grounds of you being a part-time worker, and in some cases, your employer may be able to provide objective justification for the differential treatment. This legislation applies to all employers, regardless of the size of the business.
Part-time employees are frequently female. Depending on the facts of any particular case, it is therefore possible that there will be indirect sex discrimination if you are female and the terms and conditions of your employment are materially worse than those of full-time employees who are mostly male. You may also have a claim for equal pay if your rate of pay is lower than that of your male full-time equivalents.
If you have a claim against your employer under the Part-time Workers Regulations, length of service is not a factor and you have the right to make a claim under the Regulation from the first day of your employment.
If you are a part-time worker and you believe that you are being treated differently from your full-time counterparts. Please contact us for an initial free consultation.
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