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Part-Time Workers Rights


Where a worker is part time, what rights do they have to equal treatment with full-time workers?

In many cases, part-time employment is a lifestyle choice, and part-time workers do not wish to obtain full-time employment. There could be many reasons why someone would only consider working part-time, this could be from childcare arrangements, caring for an ill family relative or wanting to remain in the workplace but enjoy semi-retirement! The latest Labour Force Survey from the Office for National Statistics indicates that 70% of part-time workers would not consider taking a full-time job.  

As a part time worker, what are your rights?  

A part-time employee or worker is someone who works fewer hours than a full-time employee or worker in the same organisation. There’s no set number of hours that counts as full or part-time work. 

The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 provides the right to a part-time worker, whether female or male, not to be treated less favourably than a comparable full-time worker, on the ground that they are part time, as regards the terms of their contract or by being subjected to any other detriment. To establish less favourable treatment, a part-time worker must identify a real full-time worker as a comparator.  

Who is the comparator?  

The comparator must be someone who works full time for the same employer and is on the same type of contract as the part-time employee or worker. They must do the same or broadly similar work as the part-time employee or worker. You should also consider whether they have a similar level of qualification, skills and experience and that they are based at the same organisation, or at a different one if there is no comparator at the same one.  

What is less favourable treatment? 

In establishing whether a part-time worker has been treated less favourably, regulations often mean that benefits must be ‘pro-rata’. Namely, benefits such as pay, leave and sickness are given pro rata for part-time employees and workers. So, a part-time worker should receive the full-time benefit in proportion to the hours they work.  

So, by way of illustration if someone who works full time gets paid £28,000 a year, someone working in the same role for half the hours should get paid £14,000. Another example would be if a full-time worker gets a £1,000 bonus, a part-time worker working half the number of hours should get £500. 

These regulations can also apply to training and career development. 

However, an employer could have a defence to a claim if it can show that less favourable treatment of the part-time worker is justified on objective grounds. Less favourable treatment will only be justified if the employer can show that it’s to achieve a legitimate objective and it’s a necessary and appropriate way to achieve it.  


If you have any further queries or would like to book an appointment, please contact our Employment Team at 01256 320555 or email us at mail@clarkeandson.co.uk.

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