To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact of the part-time Workers Directive on staff in his Department. 
The Ministry of Defence is committed to the work/life balance of its civilian staff. A range of flexible working patterns including part-time working, flexible working hours, home working and job share is available to civilian staff by agreement with their management.The number of civilian staff employed part-time has increased steadily during the last five years from 4,055 in April 1998 (4.5 per cent. of total work force excluding trading funds) to 5,323 in March 2003 (7 per cent. of total work force excluding trading funds). There has, however, been no attempt to assess the specific impact of the Part-time Workers Directive on this increase as MOD's policies to ensure equal treatment of part-time workers were largely in place well before the European Directive came into force.