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2 Employment - updated version available December '16
12. What are my rights if I work part-time?
The Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations prohibit part-time workers being treated less favourably than full-time workers. Part-time workers may be treated differently from full-time workers only if the employer can show they have a good reason for doing this.
These regulations apply to more people than other employment laws, such as the law on unfair dismissal, because they cover contract workers as well as employees.
How can I tell whether I am part-time?
The regulations mean that on a pro-rata basis (scaled down according to the hours they work), part-time workers must receive the same:
However, part-time workers are entitled to the same overtime rate as full-time workers only after they have worked the same number of hours as a full-time worker.
What action can I take if I have been treated unfairly?
If you are not happy with the explanation, the next step is to make a claim to the employment tribunal. You must bring your claim within three months of when the discrimination happened.
To make your claim, you need to find a full-time worker who has a similar job to yours and compare your treatment to that worker's. For example, a similar full-time worker should:
At a tribunal, your employer must explain why they have treated you less favourably. The tribunal will decide what rights you have and can order your employer to pay compensation. There is no limit on the amount of compensation you may be awarded.
If you are employed under a fixed- term contract, you have the right to be treated in the same way as a permanent worker.
This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Ian Hunter, Head of the Employment Department, Bird & Bird, Solicitors.
The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.
Leaflet Version: January 2016
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