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Stephen Byers, secretary of state for trade and industry, has ...
Stephen Byers, secretary of state for trade and industry, has

announced that new part-time rights coming into force on Saturday 1

July will help stamp out discrimination for over 400,000 mainly women

workers on pay, pensions, training and holidays. This will ensure

that all six million part-time workers are now treated as favourably

as full-timers.

As well as giving part-timers the same rewards as full-timers on a

pro-rata basis, the regulations are designed to promote flexible

working as well as encouraging people to achieve a better work life


Women make up 80 per cent of Britain's six million part-timers.

Though the majority are treated as favourably as full-timers, the new

legislation will end unjustifiable discrimination for all six million

where it persists.

Stephen Byers said:

'Where discrimination remains it must be ended. On Saturday we reach

an important milestone for employment rights when over 400,000

part-timers should see an improvement in their conditions.

'Part-time work is a vital part of both the modern workplace and the

modern economy. It is essential that part-time work is properly

valued and rewarded. The government is strongly committed to

promoting the status and flexibility of part-time work and to

providing minimum standards.

'Businesses need to draw on the greatest pool of talent possible. Our

measures will enhance competitiveness by encouraging more skilled

people back into the labour market.'

The new measures should encourage more people to consider working

part-time as their circumstances change. Traditionally part-time

working has been associated with parenthood. But it can also suit

carers, students, the retired and those preparing to retire. And it

can provide an income for entrepreneurs when they are first starting

out on a new venture.

Information on the new measures is provided on the DTI website . This has been produced by the DTI in

discussion with a broadly based working group including

representatives from small businesses and the CBI, TUC, Equal

Opportunities Commission and personnel specialists. Drawing on this

expertise has ensured that the information is tailored for the people

who need it most.


1. Under the rights, full-time workers who start working part-time

will now be able to compare their new terms and conditions with their

previous package. This will be particularly helpful to women

returning to work part-time after maternity leave.

2. The regulations have been introduced with a light-touch by

ensuring that comparisons can only be made between part-time and

full-time workers with the same type of contract. Businesses had a

full eight weeks to prepare for the final implementation. The

regulations were extended from employees to workers to help some of

the most vulnerable members of the workforce including agency


3. The written statement procedure has been strengthened. Part-timers

who believe they have been treated unfairly must now request a

statement in writing; and the timescale for providing an answer has

been increased from 14 to 21 days. This will provide an important

opportunity for part-timers and their employers to resolve any

problems before a complaint to an employment tribunal becomes


4. The regulations are available at

Paper copies of the regulations can be obtained from the HMSO on 0345


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