Part Time Workers: Regulations

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.

Last Updated on 25 May 2021

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