Cleaners and caterers may miss benefits

Part-time catering and cleaning staff could miss out on the protection of the latest regulations which came into force last week.

The Part-Time Work regulations extend to all part-time staff but rely on there being full-time staff to compare terms and conditions against in the same company.

A loophole in the regulations highlighted by Personnel Today (27 June) means organisations could avoid giving part-time staff their new rights by setting up two companies – one for part-timers and one for full-timers.

Casual staff employed on a part-time basis will find it hard to compare themselves with a permanent member of staff where jobs are performed only by part-timers, as is common in the catering and cleaning industries.

TUC general secretary John Monks said, “There are many people doing some of the worst-paid jobs who will not have full-timers with whom they can compare themselves.

Sara Leslie, employment lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said, “There is a definite weakness in the regulations. Many staff will try running a sex discrimination claim alongside because that law is stronger.”

www.dti.gov.uk/er/ptime.htm

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