With the Easter weekend fast approaching, a new survey has found that more than one in five British employers could be breaking the law when it comes to withholding bank holiday rights from part-time workers.
The survey of HR professionals by Croner Consulting found that 21% don’t offer their part-time staff the same bank holiday rights as their full-time colleagues.
Under the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, part-time workers must not be treated less favourably than full-timers. The Regulations were introduced to ensure that part-timers are treated fairly in terms of rates of pay; access to pension schemes; annual, maternity and paternity leave; sick pay; and access to training.
In order to comply with the law and best practice, employers with part-time staff are advised to ensure their policies regarding bank and public holidays are fair to all workers.
“In cases where all employees work according to a shift system, and therefore have an equal chance of working a bank holiday, employers may wish to give workers a paid day off to compensate, said Richard Smith, employment law expert at Croner Consulting.
“However, where employees work fixed days each week, and since most bank and public holidays fall on a Monday, those who do not usually work Mondays will be entitled to proportionally fewer days off. In such cases employers could introduce a system of pro-rated entitlement – but are not obliged to by law.”
Richard warned that “the one in five employers surveyed that admit to not giving part-timers equal rights should review their holiday policies. If unequal treatment can be ‘objectively justified’ for a business reason then they will be within the law, but if the rules for holidays are found to be unfair to part-time workers, employers risk potential compensation claims or prosecution.”