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
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
www.dti.gov.uk/er/ptime.htm . 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 www.dti.gov.uk/er/ptime.htm
Paper copies of the regulations can be obtained from the HMSO on 0345