Part-time employees and workers have the same employment rights as full-time employees (and workers) – you do not have to work a minimum number of hours to qualify for these rights.

Legislation called the ‘prevention of less favourable treatment’ covers part-time employees and workers (including agency workers) – and compares them to an ‘equivalent’ full-time worker, i.e. someone doing a similar job on the same type of contract. We look at what this means in our article here.

The legislation covers:

  • Pay and benefits, employment terms and conditions (you must receive the same normal hourly rate, and hourly overtime rate, as comparable full-time workers.  However, case law has confirmed that although part-time workers must receive the same hourly overtime rate as full-time workers they do not need to receive overtime pay until they have worked the same total number of hours as a full-time worker).
  • Pensions
  • Training and other opportunities (you cannot be excluded from training simply because you work part-time)
  • Holidays (you must have the same pro-rata entitlement as full-time workers including to bank holidays), and
  • Maternity/adoption/parental leave/paternity leave/sick pay rights (you must have the same pro-rata entitlement as full-time workers)
  • Selection for promotion, transfer or redundancy, career breaks
  • The only exceptions being if your Employer can objectively justify their different treatment of you.

If you think you have been treated less favourably than a full-time worker then you have the right to receive a written statement of reasons for the treatment – you need to ask your employer for this in writing and your employer must reply within 21 days. If you are not satisfied with the answer then you can make a complaint to an Employment Tribunal.