Part time workers

09 July 2019

Many employees work Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm, but there are also millions of individuals across the UK who also work part-time.

Part-time employment can be appealing for those with childcare commitments, or other outside responsibilities, and it’s important to have a good understanding of their rights.

Our guide into their rights and your responsibilities will help you understand their place in your business.

The laws to remember

It’s important you don’t treat part-time staff any less favourably than your full-time colleagues.

This ruling is in the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000. It’s otherwise known as the part-time workers regulations. 

Although being part-time is not a protected characteristic, unfavourable treatment is part-time worker discrimination and employers can face tribunal proceedings for withholding certain employment rights.

Holiday entitlement for part-time workers

You might have trouble working out what sort of time off your part-time workforce can take.

The procedure isn’t any different to full-time staff. Part-time workers can receive the same amount of holiday as a comparable full-time worker on a pro-rata basis.

The same principle also applies when it comes to calculating holiday pay for part-time workers. Here’s an example:

  • If full-time workers who work five days a week can claim six weeks' holiday each year (with pay), a part-time worker who works two days a week would receive six weeks' holiday each year (with pay). But a “week” consists of only two days. Their pro-rata share is two-fifths of the full-time amount, which is 12 days.

Bank holidays for part-time workers

You can use the same pro-rata approach as outlined in holiday entitlement.

This avoids any issues where part-time workers who don’t work Mondays find themselves missing out on several bank holidays as a result.

This’ll also ensure bank holiday pay for part-time workers remains fair and proportionate. As an example:

  • Where full-time staff working five days a week receive eight bank holidays each year (with pay). A part-time worker working to days a week should receive two fifths of this amount.

Sick pay entitlement for part-time workers

As individuals can qualify for statutory sick pay (SSP) providing they earn above the lower earnings limit of £118 per week.

SSP payments will also be pro-rated, so employees who work three days a week will receive 60% of the full SSP payment.

However, you need to remember that staff will need to be incapable of work due to illness for at least four consecutive working days, not counting weekends or days they don’t normally work, therefore this may prevent part-time staff from qualifying for SSP in many instances.

If you offer occupational sick pay for single instances of sickness, part-time staff must receive this in the same way as full-time employees. It’s for any days they should work, but are unfit to do so.

You also have an obligation to provide statutory redundancy pay for part-time workers who are employees, which includes any contractual redundancy payments.

Calculate these in the same way as you do with your full-time staff.

Need our help?

If you have part-time workers and want to know an HR or employment law requirement, our team of HR experts can help you straight away: 0800 028 2420.

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