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Favourable Clarification for Part-time Workers

David McRae
5th Jun 2009

The recent Employment Appeal Tribunal in the case of Carl v The University of Sheffield clarified the interpretation of the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000.

 

The Employment Appeal Tribunal considered the issue of the ‘correct comparator’ in the case of Carl v The University of Sheffield.

 

You can access this case by clicking here.

 

This case clarified the interpretation of the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000. The Employment Appeal Tribunal has stated that an employee must point to a real comparator who amounts to a ‘comparable full-time worker’ under Regulation 2(4). It is not possible, in less favourable treatment of part-time workers cases, to use a hypothetical comparator.

 

The Employment Appeal Tribunal also held that the part-time working must be the effective and predominant cause of the less favourable treatment complained of, but need not be the only cause.

 

This case may mean that it is potentially more difficult for an employee, who works on a part-time basis, to bring a successful claim under the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000. The reason for this is that the real comparator must be doing the same job.

 

In the present case, both the Claimant and the comparator taught at the University of Sheffield. It had been held by the Employment Tribunal that though the Claimant taught students at the University (which was similar to the real named comparator) there were differences in what they taught, their job specifications, and how they taught. Accordingly, the Tribunal was able to conclude that the differences in their respective jobs meant that there was no true comparison between the Claimant and her real named comparator in these cases.

 

This was contrasted by an example of a part-time versus full-time fire fighter. Both are employed to do the same work: to fight fires.

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