Your rights as a part-time employee working full-time hours

I have been employed for three years on a part-time contract.  For the last 2.5 years I have been consistently working full-time hours.  I have asked several times for my contract to reflect this, but nothing has been done.  Do I have any claim to common practice and can I get my contract made up to full time, including holiday pay?

Stressed woman at work


Firstly, I assume you are being paid for your additional work as you have been undergoing these hours for two and a half years.  It is difficult to make an accurate assessment without seeing your contract, particularly in relation to the holiday clause, but generally your possible routes are as follows:

Holiday pay

Your main potential claim would be in relation to holiday pay under the Working Time Regulations (the “Regulations”) or as Unlawful Deduction from Wages under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (“ERA”).  Your minimum statutory allowance is four weeks’ holiday per year plus bank holiday, totalling 28 days.  Your employer may provide more holiday entitlement than the minimum, so check with other colleagues at your level if you aren’t sure.

The issue with presenting a claim for non-payment of holiday pay under the Regulations is the time limits.  You are to make a claim within three months of the date on which your holiday pay should have been paid.  If you have been doing full time hours for 2 and a half years without receiving the representative holiday entitlement, then, unfortunately your claim under the Regulations, on the face of it, will be out of time, unless a Tribunal Judge decides otherwise.

Therefore a more effective route would be under ERA which allows you to bring a claim within three months of the last in a series of deductions. If you have been denied proper holiday entitlement for the last two and a half years, this would be a series of deductions from each monthly wage. Even if this was rectified in this month’s wage, you would still be able to bring a claim within three months of the last deduction. Under this claim, if you are successful, the Tribunal will make a declaration to that effect and order the employer to pay the amount unlawfully deducted i.e. all holiday pay owed to you.

FYI a further need to know your correct entitlement is if your employment ever terminated, for example, by reason of redundancy, as you are entitled to payment in lieu of any unused holiday on leaving.

Written statement of particulars

When an employee begins work, they are entitled to have written confirmation of their terms and conditions within two months of starting. It appears that this was given to you when you first started your job, which was then part time, either via an offer letter or within your contract itself.  This statement sets out your hours, pay, holiday entitlement and other rights and benefits. However no statement has been given in relation to your new terms. A lack of written statement of particulars is not a claim in itself, but if tagged onto another claim as per above, and was successful, it would increase your compensation by two to four weeks’ pay.


In the first instance, I would advise you make a formal request in writing for clarification of what your terms and conditions are.  You could outline what you think you are entitled to with regards to pay, holiday pay and other benefits.  For example if your contract gives you 16 or 17 days holiday per year, as calculated on a three day week instead of 28 days holiday for full time members of staff, you should specify in your letter that you expect 28 days holiday.  You should calculate your other benefits in this way too, for example sick pay.

If this is not successful, you can raise an official grievance  in relation to pro-rated holiday entitlement in line with your colleagues who are working full time and written statement of terms.

If this route is not successful then you could bring a claim as outlined above.  Please note you do not have to resign to do so – claims can be brought against employers whist still in their employment.

 Jane Manville helped in the preparation of this answer.

Comments [6]

  • Kathleen says:

    Hi, I have been moved to a different location after 12years with the same company, I have been moved due to my disability, I have no issue of being moved!
    However I’ve always worked full time and my new contract is full time, I had a day off as I went to hospital due to my bones being fused in my foot and couldn’t weight bare, I’m back on my feet now, although still have a disability!
    I picked up my rota from my works as I’m due back in on Monday, they have given me shorter hours, 1 week only 16hours and a few other weeks only 32 hours, they said they couldn’t find enough hours for me on the rota!
    Can they do this to me?
    I also used to get paid 65 pounds to sleep in at work, sometimes doing this 3 times a week and now I’m getting only 45pounds to sleep in, they said I’m not contracted for my sleeps as all the other staff are, is this discrimination, as I couldn’t help being moved?
    I would really appreciate to hear any facts of my rights and what I must do now! I’m already starting to put in a grievance letter, I’ve been pushed into a home where after 3 months I had to demand a risk assessment, after asking on a number of occasions and now my foot has deteriorated, which my doctor confirmed!
    Thank you for taking your time to read this e-mail, it’s much appreciated!
    Kathleen Hobbs.

    • Mandy Garner says:

      Hi Kathleen,
      What does your contract say about your hours – are full-time hours guaranteed or is there some sub-clause such as subject to availability written in? Also, with regard to the sleep ins, what is the justification for reducing the amount if you were paid £65 before – has your contract been changed with regard to this and did you agree such a change? Is there any policy which justifies paying a lesser amount for people who are doing sleep ins on a less regular basis? It does sound potentially discriminatory if you are doing the same work as other staff. Please reply to [email protected].

  • tara says:

    Hi I work part time hours and get paid part time wages but was given a full time contract by mistake what shall I do ?

    • Mandy Garner says:

      Hi Tara,
      Do you mean your HR made a mistake, but that a part-time contract was agreed with your manager? If so, you should contact your HR/manager and get them to reissue the contract as agreed when you started work.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, have found myself in very similar situation, so would be thankful to find out what finally happened in your case


  • Anonymous says:

    I would like to start an online delivery company for home made food and desserts, especially targeting diabetic customers. I have no idea where to start and who to talk to.

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