Part Time Workers: Comparators

01 June 2018

With thanks to Daniel Barnett’s employment law bulletin for providing this case summary.

Does the fact a Claimant is employed under a zero hours contract render that contract incomparable for the purposes of a part-time workers discrimination claim?

No, held the EAT in Roddis v Sheffield Hallam University.

The Claimant, an associate lecturer employed under a zero hours contract, brought a claim under the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 comparing himself with a full-time lecturer working under a permanent contract.

A tribunal struck out the claim, finding the claimant was not "employed under the same type of contract" for the purposes of reg.2(4)(i)(a) because he worked under a zero hours contract. The claimant appealed. The EAT, substituting the decision with one finding the contracts were the same type, found reg.2(3) provides a set of mutually exclusive categories defined broadly in a way that allows for a wide variety of terms and conditions within each category.

If the difference in hours rendered contracts not capable of comparison, the purpose of the 2000 Regulations would be self-defeating. Since no other difference had been found by the tribunal, both lecturers had to be working under the same type of contract.