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Part-Time Workers

Volume 400: debated on Monday 3 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she is taking to accord part-time workers the same employment rights as those in full-time work. [100480]

Part-time employees in the UK enjoy the same statutory employment rights as full-timers, including protection against unfair dismissal, unlawful deductions from wages and adverse treatment on grounds of sex, race or disability. In addition, the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 require them to be treated no less favourably in their terms and conditions than comparable full-timers, unless different treatment can be justified on objective grounds.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has had with European Union colleagues regarding a Europe-wide approach to securing parity of employment rights between part-time workers and full-time workers. [100482]

None. The European Directive on part-time work already requires member states to ensure that part-time workers are treated no less favourably in their terms and conditions of employment than comparable full-timers.