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Part Time Workers: Comparators

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Does the fact a Claimant is employed under a zero hours contract render that contract incomparable for the purposes of a part-time workers discrimination claim?

No, held the EAT in Roddis v Sheffield Hallam University.

The Claimant, an associate lecturer employed under a zero hours contract, brought a claim under the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 comparing himself with a full-time lecturer working under a permanent contract.

A tribunal stuck out the claim, finding the claimant was not "employed under the same type of contract" for the purposes of reg.2(4)(i)(a) because he worked under a zero hours contract. The claimant appealed. The EAT, substituting the decision with one finding the contracts were the same type, found reg.2(3) provides a set of mutually exclusive categories defined broadly in a way that allows for a wide variety of terms and conditions within each category.

If the difference in hours rendered contracts not capable of comparison, the purpose of the 2000 Regulations would be self-defeating. Since no other difference had been found by the tribunal, both lecturers had to be working under the same type of contract.

Thanks to Barnaby Large of No.18 Barristers Chambers for preparing this case summary.