Students working part-time

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Fixed-term and part-time work

Lots of students will be offered work on a part-time or fixed-term basis, to fit around study commitments and the holidays. But that doesn’t mean you have fewer rights. Indeed, you have certain additional protections from being treated differently to comparable full-time/permanent staff.

 

What rights do I have if I’m on a fixed-term contract?

If you are an employee working on a fixed-term contract you have the right not be treated less favourably than permanent employees doing the same or largely the same job as you, unless your employer can show that there is a legitimate (and justifiable) business reason for doing so. Employers must also ensure that fixed-term employees get the same pay and conditions as permanent staff, the same or equivalent benefits package, and information about permanent vacancies in the organisation.

If your fixed-term contract isn’t renewed, and you have at least two years’ continuous service, your employer must have a fair reason for dismissing you. If they don’t, you may have an unfair dismissal claim. If they no longer need someone to do your role you may also be entitled to a redundancy payment.

 

What if I work part-time?

If you are a part-time worker, you have the right not to be treated less favourably than a comparable full time worker.

In summary, this means you should be treated the same in relation to pay and leave, pension contributions, benefits, training and development, and promotions. Benefits such as pay and leave can (and will be) prorated according to the hours you work.

 

How Which? Legal can help

If you’ve got a question about a fixed-term and/or part-time or other type of contract, our solicitors can help. We can explain your rights, and walk you through your options. We’ll:

  • listen to what’s happened
  • help you understand your contract, and your rights
  • discuss your options and the time limits for bringing any claims

 

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Brendan Donohue Sq Brendan Donohue Brendan joined Which? in 2018 and is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association. See profile
Duncan Snook Sq Duncan Snook Duncan joined Which? as an employment law specialist in May 2018. He has over 10 years of experience as an employment solicitor in private practice. See profile
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