Discrimination: Part-Time Workers

Key Points

  • A part-time worker must not be treated less favourably than a comparable full-time worker doing the same or largely the same job unless the less favourable treatment can be objectively justified.
  • This extends to less favourable treatment in respect of the provision of pension benefits.
  • A part-time worker can bring a claim for less favourable treatment under the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000.
  • The other potential claim a part-time worker can bring in relation to pensions discrimination is a claim for indirect sex discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.
  • Preston v Wolverhampton Healthcare NHS Trust clarified that men or women excluded from their employer's pension scheme on grounds of indirect sex discrimination are entitled to claim access to the pension scheme.
  • ‘Off-sets’ (notional deductions equal to the basic state pension made from a worker’s salary to calculate contributions and pension benefits) may be indirectly discriminatory but are capable of objective justification. 
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