Home > Employment Law > Part Time Workers: Regulations

Part Time Workers: Regulations

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 14 Aug 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Part-time Workers Part-time Staff What

The Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 introduced new rights for part-time workers. The regulations ensure that part-time workers cannot be treated any less favourably in their contractual terms and conditions than their full-time counterparts.

This measure was introduced by the Government to reinforce its policy of putting in place decent minimum standards whilst promoting a flexible and competitive workforce.

This Means That Part-timers Are Entitled To:

  • The same hourly rate of pay
  • The same access to company pension schemes
  • The same entitlements to annual leave and Maternity and Paternity Leave on a pro rata basis
  • The same entitlement to sick pay
  • No less favourable treatment in access to training

The regulations also cover you if you are a part-time worker contracted by an external agency.

What Constitutes a Part-Time Worker?

There is no fixed number of hours which deem whether a worker is part-time or not. However, a worker is usually considered full-time if they work 35 hours a week or more. To be considered a part-time worker the hours you work must be less than a customary full-time worker in the same company.

Why You Might Choose to Work Part-Time

The reasons for working part-time vary from individual to individual. It may be that you want to obtain a better Work/ Life Balance or you may have young children at nursery or school or maybe you have caring responsibilities. It may be you prefer flexible work patterns or you may be returning to work after illness and feel part-time hours are more suitable for the time being. Perhaps, you may be at college or university and part-time hours allow you to pursue your studies whilst giving you the opportunity to increase your income.

Are There Benefits to Employers in Employing Part-Time Workers?

Yes - most definitely.

Employing part-time members of the workforce increases flexibility to employers in order to better manage workloads. This in turn can increase productivity and Reduce Absenteeism and stress amongst other staff members who may have had to cope for long periods with too much work and too little support. It also allows a wider pool of candidates from which to recruit for new positions within the company and gives the employer an increased ability to respond to change and demands within the business especially during busy periods such as the Christmas period and additional coverage for holidays. It is, however, worth considering that you may incur higher staffing costs of employing part-time workers due to the extra induction, training and administration needed. However, this is usually balanced by the additional value that a good part-time worker brings to the company.

Companies today are likely to use or seriously be considering using part-time members of staff amongst their workforce. In fact, over 7 million people in the UK - one in four of the workforce - now work part-time, which is the second highest proportion of the country's working population in the EU, only behind Holland.

Today's increasing consumer demand for fast and efficient customer service alongside the 24 hour economy we live in means that there will always be a role for the part-time worker in today's busy working environment.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I work 15 hours a week but have been off sick since 10th June this year due to severe pain in my right hand. My employer has asked for my medical records relating to my period of sickness and the likely hood of me being able to return to work. After receiving this my employer has asked me to a meeting to discuss being paid off unfit for work. Can you tell me where I stand with this. The meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday and I would like to take someone with me for support but they say it must be a colleague or a union rep which I don't have and I work on my own.
Lainie - 14-Aug-16 @ 11:03 PM
Concernee - Your Question:
I am currently on a part-time contract of 30 hours, but my working hours are double that every week. I have been told by other staff members that I am eligible for a contract of 40 hours by law (supposedly), but my employer says they are no longer offering full-time contracts and it is easier to work up to 40 hours than to buy down hours. My feelings are that the employer dictates the contracts and the hours worked so I don't feel the need to argue, but those on full time contracts are saying they get more benefits.

Our Response:
You cannot be made to work longer hours than you are contractually obliged to do. Your employment contract may have a clause in that states you work extra hours when needed, but it would be considered "unreasonable" by a court if you were expected to work these hours every week. If your employer refuses to revise your contract to reflect the hours, then you should say that you are only prepared to work your contracted hours. When you say those on 40 hours contracts get more benefits, this should not be the case in most areas. You holiday pay for example, should reflect your earnings over the 12 weeks before your holiday, so should reflect a 40 our week.
SafeWorkers - 12-Jul-16 @ 1:04 PM
I am currently on a part-time contract of 30 hours, but my working hours are double that every week. I have been told by other staff members that I am eligible for a contract of 40 hours by law (supposedly), but my employer says they are no longer offering full-time contracts and it is easier to work up to 40 hours than to buy down hours. My feelings are that the employer dictates the contracts and the hours worked so I don't feel the need to argue, but those on full time contracts are saying they get more benefits.
Concernee - 10-Jul-16 @ 12:36 PM
I have a contract to work Saturday and Sunday but Ialso have worked every Friday for the past 5 yearsam I entitled to have these hours added to my contract .
Kaz - 15-Jan-16 @ 8:35 PM
Sorry, my previous mail should read 2 SHIFTS OF 4,HOURS
Maz - 26-May-14 @ 1:34 PM
I have been working for my current employer for just over 6 years on a part time basis. I work on a Wednesday for 8 hours. My employers have now had a new building erected and I (and other colleagues) have been told we must sign a new contract. I work as a checkout operator and have been told that I have to now split my day into two shifts of 8 hours. (I think to save on pai Yk g for tea breaks). I asked if I could do 8 til 12, go home and then come back at 2 and work til 6. I was told no, I can't. I do not want to take up 2 days of being committed, but said at a push I would do it. Where do I stand please? Thank you
Maz - 26-May-14 @ 1:31 PM
I have a part time contract and my employer won't give me full time, so I have been doing overtime for the past year. I was told by a work college that they have to give me the hours in my contract to make it full time, is there any truth to this if so where.can I get a copy of this
gazm - 19-Oct-12 @ 8:14 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SafeWorkers website. Please read our Disclaimer.