PART TIME WORKING
The Part Time Hours Workers Regulations July 2000 ensures that part time workers will be treated no less favourably than full time workers. The regulations cover all aspects of employment and therefore all benefits should be pro rata and the same as those applied to full time workers. For example:
- receive the same hourly rate as comparable full-timers;
- receive the same hourly rate of over-time as comparable full-timers, 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-time colleagues.
- have the same access to pension schemes and pension scheme benefits.
All entitlements should be pro rated by dividing the annual entitlement by the basic full time working hours per week and then multiplying by the part time hours.
Any rounding which occurs should be to the individual’s benefit.
Page 1 contains a covering letter to send with the terms and conditions of employment.
A duplicate of the contract (signed by employer) should be sent to the prospective employee for their records and to allow them to sign and return one copy to you to be retained. This will act as proof that the employee has accepted the terms and conditions of the contract
The contract can be issued to an employee after they have joined as long as it is not later than 8 weeks after the employment began.
It is important that you review the contract to ensure that it is applicable to your business requirements.
As will be seen, there are numerous details that need to be completed in the Terms and Conditions. Also there are a number of alternative clauses that need to be considered, with the inappropriate wording deleted. Guidance is given below as to some clauses that you may wish to amend or review.
It is important to ensure that all employees are treated equally and that no direct or indirect discrimination takes place by including clauses for some categories of staff and excluding them for others.
NOTES ON SPECIFIC CLAUSES
1. APPOINTMENT, COMMENCEMENT, DUTIES AND PLACE OF WORK
1.1 The employer needs to specify the commencement date of the contract.
1.3 If there is unlikely to be a requirement to travel abroad, state as such
1.5 The length of a probationary period can be varied. During the probationary period the employee should receive objective feedback about their performance and the feedback should be documented. This should include the setting of specific targets for improvement if appropriate. The probationary period should not be extended for more than 6 months in total. During this time a final decision should be made about the employee’s suitability for the role.
2. HOURS OF WORK
2.3 It would be usual for the employee to have to work whatever is the normal full time working week hours before being able to claim overtime payment, Therefore some additional hours worked may be paid at the normal flat rate before being eligible to claim overtime.
4.7 It would be normal to pro rata a part time employee’s entitlement to bank holidays with any additional days taken as unpaid or worked at another time. However a pragmatic approach may be required for an employee whose working days fall on the majority of bank holidays i.e. Monday and Fridays.
5. ABSENCE DUE TO ILLNESS
5.2 It is suggested that a medical certificate be produced for absence in excess of 7 calendar days.
8. It is advisable to have a confidentiality clause, which not only requires the employee to maintain confidentiality while working for the employer but also after the contract comes to an end. In addition the clause requires an employee to return documents belonging to the company at the end of the contract.
Clauses designed to prohibit an employee from soliciting clients are commonly included in employment contracts, along with other restrictions, but there is a lot of case law on this subject and legal advice should be taken on precise wording of this clause.