Part-time working

No hypothetical comparator

In a claim for direct sex discrimination, a claimant can rely on an actual comparator or a hypothetical one. In equal pay cases a claimant must make an actual comparison with a male in order to succeed. The question which arose in this case was whether, in a claim under the Part-time Workers (Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, a claimant could rely on the sex discrimination-type hypothetical comparator.

Carl v University of Sheffield

Discrimination need not be solely on the basis of part-time status

Ms Sharma and her colleagues were all part-time workers with Manchester City Council. Their contracts provided that the amount of hours they did each year varied, but had a guaranteed minimum which they would be offered and required to work.

Sharma v Manchester City Council

Meaning of the ‘same or broadly similar work’

The House of Lords held that the contracts of retained (i.e. part time) firefighters must be treated as equivalent to those of full-time firefighters, essentially because the main differences between them were a function of the extra hours worked by the full timers.

Matthews v Kent & Medway Fire Towns and Fire Authority

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