Part-time workers' discrimination

14 September 2017

If a part-time worker works more than 50% of full-time hours, but is paid only 50% of full-time salary, is that less favourable treatment contrary to the Part-Time Workers Regulations 2000?

Yes, held the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in British Airways v Pinaud.

If statistical evidence is available, can this be disregarded?

No, the case being remitted on this second question.

Full-time crew worked a 6/3 pattern - six days on, three days off, giving 243 available days and 122 days off each year.

Part-timers worked a 14/14 pattern with ten available days required each fortnight.

50% of full-time availability (243) is 121.5 days. The part-timer had to be available for 130 days, 3.5% more.

BA argued that the bidding system for work and bid choices created the anomaly but the EAT upheld that this was plainly less favourable treatment which could not be justified.

Assessing justification, the Employment Tribunal (ET) suggested increasing part-time pay to 53.5% would "cure" the discrimination.

The EAT held that this "simple expedient" oversimplified the matter. A freshly constituted tribunal would need to consider the impact by reviewing statistical evidence which had been disregarded by the ET in error.

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