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Employment Update – October 2017

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  • Employment Update – October 2017

Part time workers

It is easy to make the mistake of thinking that someone who works half of what a fulltime employee works, is simply entitled to half of the benefits.

This is not always the case.

Bank holidays often cause confusion among employers with the assumption often being made that if a bank holiday falls on a day on which an employee ordinarily works, then they are entitled to that day off; and conversely that if they don’t ordinarily work the bank holiday, they are not entitled to the day off. This is not the case however; given that most bank holidays fall on a Monday or a Friday (giving staff the much appreciated 3-day weekend) this would cause a significant disadvantage if a part-time employee did not usually ever work Mondays or Fridays. They would miss out on a disproportionate number of these bank holidays and therefore the number of bank holidays an employee is entitled to must be directly in proportion to the number of days they work.

Contractual maternity leave and parental leave should be available to part-time workers as well as full-time workers. Additionally, part-time workers should not be treated less favourably than full-time workers in terms of calculating the rate of sick pay or maternity pay, the length of service required to qualify for payment or the length of time for which the payment is received.

A recent case dealt with the question of whether a part-time employee who worked more than 50% of full-time hours but was only paid 50% of full-time salary, would be considered subject to less favourable treatment. This case dealt with airline crew working for British Airways, where employees were required to be available at 53.5% of full-time availability. This was held to be less favourable treatment which could not be justified according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

It is important you are aware of part-time employees’ entitlements and ensure they are not subjected to what could be considered less favourable treatment, as this could result in claims at the Employment Tribunal. If you are uncertain, please get in contact with us at FTA Law.

The team at FTA Law provide advice to clients across the healthcare industry with many of our instructions coming from referrals from long standing clients and industry contacts and we work with all of the practice sales brokers and healthcare lending teams at the major banks.

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