Introduction to this document

Part-time employee clauses

Our clauses extend to hours of work, pay and holidays. They have regard to the pro rata principle which states that a part-time worker must receive not less than the proportion of pay or a benefit that the number of their weekly hours bears to the number of weekly hours of their full-time comparator.

Less favourable treatment

The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 broadly provide that part-time workers have the right not to be treated less favourably than comparable full-time workers in their contract terms or by being subjected to any other detriment. However, it may be possible to justify less favourable treatment on objective grounds. In practice though, the circumstances when you’ll be able to invoke this defence are limited. In determining whether a worker has been treated less favourably, the “pro rata principle” must generally be applied. This states that, where a comparable full-time worker receives pay or a benefit, a part-time worker must receive not less than the proportion of that pay or benefit that the number of their weekly hours bears to the number of weekly hours of their full-time comparator. With this principle in mind, our Part-Time Employee Clauses cover hours of work, pay and holidays, and they confirm that the principle will also apply to any other benefits.

Clauses provisions

The hours of work clause is effectively the same as our provisions for full-time employees in our Written Statement of Employment Particulars. You’ll just need to ensure your wording reflects the part timer’s reduced hours or days of working. Part-time workers must be given a pro rata entitlement to pay, bonuses and commission, unless the difference is due to some other factor than their part-time status. So, our pay clause provides that the part-timer’s salary has been calculated on a pro rata basis by reference to a full-time equivalent. Our clause also states that any other benefits set out elsewhere in the written statement of employment particulars will be adjusted proportionately to reflect the part timer’s days or hours worked compared to a full-time worker’s weekly days or hours. Where possible, any benefits provided to full-time workers should also be provided to part-time workers on a pro rata basis. It’s not easy to pro rata certain benefits. You must then decide whether to withhold the benefit from the part-time worker if the cost of extending it would be unduly prohibitive or disproportionate. If you do so, you must still be able to objectively justify your decision. Alternative solutions include: (1) calculating the benefit’s financial value and paying a pro rata cash equivalent to the part-time worker; (2) offering them a cheaper version of the same benefit; (3) asking them to contribute to the extra cost of providing the benefit; or (4) allowing them full access to the benefit. Part-time workers should be given pro rata entitlement to annual leave, whether that’s the 5.6 weeks’ statutory minimum or a more generous contractual leave entitlement. Our holidays clause provides for this. As regards paid bank holidays, where workers work fixed days each week, a policy of granting the day off to those whose day of work coincides with the bank holiday will put some part-timers at a disadvantage, whilst others will be treated more favourably, as most bank holidays fall on a Monday. The safest way to achieve equality is to provide all part timers with a pro rata amount of bank holidays according to the number of days/hours they work, which is what our clause says.