Part-time discrimination? Ask the expert

I work 13.5 hours a week as the firm lowered my hours after maternity leave. I found out a colleague who has been there much less time than me is paid more and was told I was paid more an hour and didn’t get through the same workload [because I am part time]. I feel I am being discriminated against because I work part time.

It is sometimes the case that it is fair for employees doing the same or similar work to be paid different salaries, whether it is due to their experience or that they negotiate a better salary when they join. However, if you can demonstrate that you are paid less for the sole reason that you work part-time, this could potentially be discrimination contrary to the part-time workers regulations.
 If you are on a higher hourly rate than the other secretary, it is difficult to see how you could be earning less money, although obviously if you work less hours than a full-time secretary you would receive less pay.
If you do believe that you are being discriminated against, you should submit a formal grievance in writing raising your concerns and your employer will need to formally meet with you to discuss and investigate your complaints. If you are unable to resolve this you may wish to seek advice from a solicitor specialising in employment law – I’m more than happy for you to telephone me if you need any further advice and Lemon&Co offers assistance on a no win no fee basis.
Answer by Helen Climance
This gives a general overview only, based on the information available at the time of writing. It cannot be relied upon in any particular case. Specific legal advice must always be considered to include consideration as to whether the legal position contained has changed since publication. For further information and advice, please contact Lemon&Co Solicitors on 01793 527141 or visit their website: www.lemon-co.co.uk.




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