Legislation overview

The main statutory protection for part-time workers is contained in the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/1551). These Regulations implemented the provisions of the Part-time Work Directive (97/81/EC) into the UK.

Other legislation includes:

  • Employment Protection (Part-time Employees) Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/31)
  • Employment Rights Act 1996
  • Employment Act 2002
  • The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2035)
  • The Occupational Pension Schemes (Equal Treatment) (Amendment) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/1923)
  • The Work and Families Act 2006
  • The sex discrimination provisions of the Equality Act 2010 because part-time workers may also be able to allege that they are being subjected to indirect sex discrimination and pay discrimination.

The numerous EC equal pay Directives implementing the principle that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work and Article 141 of the Treaty of Rome as amended may also be relied upon in appropriate cases.

Q: Who is a part-time worker?

Q: Do part-time employees need to serve the same amount of continuous service as full-time employees in order to qualify for statutory rights?

Q: Is there a right which means that employers must allow workers to work on a part-time basis and what claims can part-time workers bring?

Q: Can an employer insist that part-time workers work full-time or increase their hours to meet the needs of the business?

Q: What is the impact of the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 for employers who engage part-time workers?

Q: When a part-time worker claims they should be compared to a full-time worker and the employer does not agree that they undertake comparable work how is this decided?

Q: Can an employer ever defend treating a part-time worker less favourably?

Q: How much holiday including bank holidays are part-time workers entitled to?

Q: Can a part-time worker ever be safely selected for redundancy?

Q: Do employers have to pay full overtime rates to part-time workers when the hours they work are within the normal hours worked by full-time workers?

Q: Are any future developments expected in the area of part-time workers?

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