Legislation is in place to ensure that part-time workers do not receive any less favourable treatment compared with 'comparable' full-time workers, unless the difference in treatment can be justified objectively. Therefore, part-time workers should receive the same rates of pay, pro rata to their reduced number of hours.
They should also receive the same rates of contractual sick pay or maternity pay, the same holiday entitlement pro-rata to a full-time equivalent, the same access to pension benefits, training, career break schemes, maternity leave and parental leave and receive no less favourable treatment in any criteria for redundancy selection.
Part-time workers may request a written statement from their employers asking for the employer's reasons for any alleged unfair treatment.
If an employee wishes to make a complaint about the way they have been treated, they need to do so within a time period of three months from the date of incident.
Employees are entitled to ask for a written statement of reasons, for their alleged unfair treatment which must be provided by the employer within 21 days.
Employees may ultimately bring the claim before an Employment Tribunal for a remedy in these circumstances. Tribunal awards are made on the same basis as those for unfair dismissal.
The existing legislation, involving flexible working, dovetails with the protection for part-time workers to give general rights to employees, to enable them to address their working hours and not be adversely affected in terms of their treatment by their employer as outlined above.