Part-time Workers Discrimination

Equal Treatment - Part-Time Workers


Unless objectively justified, under the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations, part-time employees must not be treated less favourably than comparable full-time employees on the ground that the employee is a part-time employee. This applies both as regards the terms of the employment contract or by being subjected to any other detriment by the employer.

Where a comparable full-time employee receives or is entitled to receive pay or any other benefit, a part-time employee must (where appropriate) receive or be entitled to not less than the proportion of that pay or other benefit that the number of his or her weekly hours bears to the number of weekly hours of the comparable employee.

An employee who believes that they have been the subject of less favourable treatment (short of dismissal) can request a written statement of reasons. This statement can be used as evidence in tribunal proceedings, and tribunals can draw inferences from a refusal to provide reasons or evasive reasons.

It is automatically unfair to dismiss an employee because he or she has:

  • brought proceedings against the the employer under the Part-time Regulations,
  • requested a statement of reasons for less favourable treatment,
  • given evidence or information in connection with proceedings under the Regulations,
  • done anything under the Regulations in relation to the employer or another person,
  • alleged that the employer has infringed the Regulations,
  • or refused to forego a right conferred on them by the Regulations.

It is also unlawful to subject an employee to a detriment or select for redundancy on any of the above grounds.

Tribunals may make a declaration, award such compensation as they consider just and equitable and/or make recommendations. If an employer refuses to comply with recommendations made without reasonable justification, the compensation due to the employee can be increased.

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