Are you aware of the rights of your part-time employees?
The law is very clear that employers must offer equal opportunities for full and part-time staff – including training and career development, selection for promotion and career breaks. However, many employers resist the opportunity to split a full time vacancy into part time roles, or to consider part time working when it is requested via a Flexible Working request.
Benefits and salaries must be applied on a pro rata basis – ie part time staff must not be paid a lower hourly rate or receive fewer benefits than full time staff – they should be calculated on a “pro rata” basis with the exception that employers are not obliged to pay overtime rates until staff have worked over the normal hours of a full-time employee.
In order to avoid any claims of unfair treatment of part time staff, employers are advised to:
- Train managers to be prepared to discuss part time options with staff when they are requested – having a statutory flexible working policy in place will assist with this. Do not assume that a job can only be fulfilled on a full time basis!
- Consider the benefits part-time employees can bring such as higher morale, promoting diversity, staff retention, more loyalty, better performance
- Don’t assume a request for part-time working means the employee is less dedicated or work-orientated. Often part time staff will be more flexible and put in more than their contracted hours, simply because they are available to do so.