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 premium 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.

Need help with part time contractual rights? Contact us on 0800 9995 121

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