Over the past 12 months, we have noticed an increased demand from clients for part-time workers and similarly an increased number of candidates seeking reduced hours working.
Whilst it may be interesting to reflect upon the drivers behind this change, there is no doubting that part-time workers now form a valuable and significant part of the staffing for many businesses. So here is a brief overview of the issues surrounding the employment of part-time workers.
It is unlawful for employers to treat part-timers less favourably in their terms and conditions of employment than comparable full-timers who work under the same type of employment contract. The law relates to “workers” and not just employees and therefore applies to temps on contracts for services, casual workers, home workers etc.
- Receive the same hourly rate as comparable full-timers (this means part-time temps must be paid the same hourly rate as full time temps doing a similar job).
- Receive same hourly rate for overtime once they have worked more than normal full-time hours
- Not be excluded from training
- Receive the same entitlements to annual leave and maternity/paternity leave on a pro-rata basis as similar status full-timers.
- Where an individual agrees to work shorter hours they may compare their new package with their old package, without having to find a different person to act as a necessary comparator.
- Where an individual ceases to work for an employer but returns within a period of 12 months, a comparison can be made between the previous and new package.
- Part-timers can request a written statement from an employer if they believe they are being treated less favourably than a comparable full-timer. Employers must respond within 21 days. This allows both parties to establish facts, and lessens the likelihood of a claim being taken to an employment tribunal