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Part-Time Workers

Key Points

  • With effect from 6th February 1995, part-time employees have had the same rights as full-timers for purposes of the UK employment protection legislation in that rules requiring employees to work more than a particular number of hours per week to qualify for employment law protection were then abolished (Employment Protection (Part-time Employees) Regulations 1995, SI 1995/31, now effectively incorporated into the Employment Rights Act 1996 Part XIV, notably ERA 1996 s.210 and ERA 1996 s.212).
  • The 1995 changes ensured that part-time employees have the same employment protection rights as full-timers but they did not give statutory rights to work part time only.
  • Nor did the 1995 changes give part-timers the right to the same rates of pay and conditions of employment as full timers, a right which was provided by the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 SI 2000/1551 as from 1st July 2000.
  • As from 1 July 2000 any part time worker who counts as a worker (not just an employee) has been entitled to all the same rights (pro rata) as full timers doing the same work.
  • There is no small employers exemption, none being permitted by the EC Part Time Work Directive 97/81/EC  which the 2000 regulations implement in the UK.
  • Minor changes were made to the regulations with effect from 1st October 2002
  • Part-timers have holiday and other rights under the 1998 Working Time Regulations.

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