Stephen Byers, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, has just unveiled the long-awaited consultation paper dealing with part-time workers, pursuant to the EC Directive on Part Time Work (which is due to be implemented by member states by 7th April 2000).
The consultation paper is entitled (imaginatively!) 'Part Time Work Public Consultation'.
It introduces the draft Part-time Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, which are designed to ensure equal treatment for part timers. They set out requirements that part-timers should:
• receive the same hourly rate as comparable full-time employees;
• receive the same overtime rates as full-time employyes, once they have worked more than the normal full-time hours;
• not be excluded from training simply because they work part-time; and,
• have the same entitlements to annual leave and maternity/parental leave on a pro rata basis as full-timers.
Although many of these rights are currently enforceable by the back-door (via an indirect sex discrimination claim - 80% of the U.K.'s six million part-timers are women), the proposals (once implemented) will give direct rights to part timers.
A copy of the draft Regulations is attached to this bulletin.