A landmark decision on the Part-Time Workers Regulations 2000 is likely to
make it more difficult for part-timers to win claims under the legislation.
The case, which affects 20,000 firefighters, is the first major
consideration of the regulations which came into force on 1 July 2000 in an
effort to prohibit part-time workers from being treated less favourably than
comparable full-time workers.
Retained part-time firefighters argued under the regulations that they could
compare themselves to full-time firefighters and claim comparable benefits and
eligibility for an occupational pension.
But the Employment Appeal Tribunal decided that retained and full-time
firefighters were employed under different types of employment contracts, and
were not engaged in the same or even broadly similar work.
Nick Chronias, partner at Beachcroft Wansbroughs which represented the
employer’s side, said: "This is a very positive decision for employers,
especially with work-life balance being at the forefront of the political and
HR agenda right now with more and more people wanting to work flexibly.
"The EAT decisively rejected an approach that could have led to
part-time employees winning claims under the Regulations more easily."