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  • FIRST POST
    • TheBlueReptile
    • By TheBlueReptile 10th May 18, 12:26 PM
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    TheBlueReptile
    Potential Part Time Discrimination
    • #1
    • 10th May 18, 12:26 PM
    Potential Part Time Discrimination 10th May 18 at 12:26 PM
    This isn't a huge deal, I'm more interested in sorting this from the perspective of my own understanding of the situation.

    My employer recently issued some new procedures in the form of an employee handbook. One of the procedures was to change how the company deal with pass-out requests. A pass-out at my workplace is essentially a request to be absent from work for a few hours and to work that time back at another date by finishing later, taking less dinner break etc.

    Previously all employees could put in a request, and the pass-out would be accepted or denied based on individual considerations. The change they've made to this is as follows: "there is a maximum of 6 pass-outs in the year for staff working 34 hours or above and for staff working below 34 hours there is a maximum of 3 pass-outs in a year"

    All employees who are full time at this company work 7 hours a day, 35 hours a week. I am part-time, working 28 hours a week, 4 days a week. It's my understanding that employers have to provide the same treatment for all employees, offering pro-rata treatment to part-time employees were applicable. So for example pro-rata I should receive 4.8 pass-outs a year (6 passouts divided by 5 days full time times 4 days part time)

    Gov.uk states that employers can treat part-time employees less favorably as long as there is objective justification. I asked my employer for objective justification and they responded with "Pass-outs are generally used for doctors appointments, for which part-time employees have more opportunity to book outside of work and therefore don't need as many pass-outs". However, it's my understanding again that this objective justification has to be a business reason, rather than the personal circumstances of an employee.

    My employer has also claimed that because pass-outs are not legally mandatory, nor considered a 'benefit', that they are exempt from any rules involving treatment of part-time employees.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Last edited by TheBlueReptile; 10-05-2018 at 12:28 PM.
Page 1
    • Browntoa
    • By Browntoa 10th May 18, 12:36 PM
    • 33,062 Posts
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    Browntoa
    • #2
    • 10th May 18, 12:36 PM
    • #2
    • 10th May 18, 12:36 PM
    Pass outs are a discretionary thing , an employer is under no obligation to give you time off for doctors appointments etc
    I'm the Board Guide of the Referrers ,Telephones, Pensions , Shop Don't drop ,over 50's and Discount Code boards which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum runnning smoothly .However, please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 10th May 18, 12:52 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    • #3
    • 10th May 18, 12:52 PM
    • #3
    • 10th May 18, 12:52 PM
    To be fair, that explanation makes a lot of sense. I'd just drop it.

    Its not like the full timers get more time off, they still have to work it back.
    • TheBlueReptile
    • By TheBlueReptile 10th May 18, 1:13 PM
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    TheBlueReptile
    • #4
    • 10th May 18, 1:13 PM
    • #4
    • 10th May 18, 1:13 PM
    Oh absolutely, I've expressed that I'm grateful to them as I appreciate the extra flexibility. Its more a case of if I'm only working 20% less time then I don't see the logic in being given 50% less passout opportunity than someone who is full-time.

    Thanks for the replies thus far guys. I doubt I'll be taking it any further with my employer but wanted the clarification myself as I'm struggling to grasp where the protection of part time employment begins and ends.
    • Ozzuk
    • By Ozzuk 10th May 18, 1:32 PM
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    • #5
    • 10th May 18, 1:32 PM
    • #5
    • 10th May 18, 1:32 PM
    It's probably a line in the sand- perhaps you have part timers working different hours to you so they come up with a set figure rather than work it different for everyone.
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 10th May 18, 3:06 PM
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    jobbingmusician
    • #6
    • 10th May 18, 3:06 PM
    • #6
    • 10th May 18, 3:06 PM
    I agree with you, OP - I think everything should be proportional for PT workers. Have you put it to your HR department that applying a rule like this is discriminatory?
    I'm the Board Guide on the Matched Betting; Referrers and Jobseeking & Training boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

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    • anamenottaken
    • By anamenottaken 10th May 18, 8:44 PM
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    anamenottaken
    • #7
    • 10th May 18, 8:44 PM
    • #7
    • 10th May 18, 8:44 PM
    Interesting to see how 4.8 pass-outs would be taken.




    I know it would have to be increased to 5 but I would also expect that the pass-outs section of the handbook is described as a non-contractual part (handbooks can contain both contractual and non-contractual information).
    • KiKi
    • By KiKi 10th May 18, 10:40 PM
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    KiKi
    • #8
    • 10th May 18, 10:40 PM
    • #8
    • 10th May 18, 10:40 PM
    "Pass-outs are generally used for doctors appointments, for which part-time employees have more opportunity to book outside of work and therefore don't need as many pass-outs". However, it's my understanding again that this objective justification has to be a business reason, rather than the personal circumstances of an employee.
    Originally posted by TheBlueReptile
    I agree with you. It doesn't matter what it's used for - it's essentially a request for flexible working. The fact that part timers have more ability to do stuff on one / two days a week is irrelevant.

    My employer has also claimed that because pass-outs are not legally mandatory, nor considered a 'benefit', that they are exempt from any rules involving treatment of part-time employees.
    I disagree with this. Of course they are a benefit - because they are not legally required. They are a benefit your organisation offers. If it's not a benefit, then it's a term of your employment - and organisation's can't discriminate on that basis, either. Either way, I'd say it's, in effect, a form of flexible working (hence you having to apply for it before, now they're just allowing it full stop) and they should pro rata that.

    I strongly suspect the reason they've done what they've done is because they don't want the admin hassle.
    ' <-- See that? It's called an apostrophe. It does not mean "hey, look out, here comes an S".
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 10th May 18, 11:11 PM
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    theoretica
    • #9
    • 10th May 18, 11:11 PM
    • #9
    • 10th May 18, 11:11 PM
    If there are any staff who only work one or two days a week or equivalent hours they are being advantaged by this, getting more than they would pro-rata, which increases the interest of the question.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
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    • Takeaway_Addict
    • By Takeaway_Addict 11th May 18, 9:36 AM
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    Takeaway_Addict

    I strongly suspect the reason they've done what they've done is because they don't want the admin hassle.
    Originally posted by KiKi
    Yup and if someone pushes it they'll either accept it or force staff to take holidays and make it quite clear who piped up and ruined it for everyone...
    Don't trust a forum for advice. Get proper paid advice. Any advice given should always be checked
    • TheBlueReptile
    • By TheBlueReptile 11th May 18, 12:16 PM
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    TheBlueReptile
    Thanks all, I'll reply to a few points below. I'm swinging between the opinions that this isn't worth my time, and that this is unfair treatment and so needs to be stood up against. My conversations with my employer thus far have shown that they simply don't care whether I disagree with the new application of pass-outs or not, that it's a "managerial desicion" and basically won't budge unless I can present them with viable proof from an organisation with authority in the matter that this is discriminatory behavior.

    Honestly, the amount of pass-outs I receive makes no difference to me, but the more I think about it the more the principal behind the matter irks me. I have other concerns about the general attitude to part time workers in this company but this is the first time anything has been down in writing that I can physically point to.

    If there are any staff who only work one or two days a week or equivalent hours they are being advantaged by this, getting more than they would pro-rata, which increases the interest of the question.
    by theoretica
    Interestingly, as far as I'm aware, there's only one. The directors ex-wife and stakeholder in the company

    Have you put it to your HR department that applying a rule like this is discriminatory?
    by jobbingmusician
    I have asked their opinion on the law regarding this and they have insisted that they have objrctive justification (the whole 'part timers can book doctors outside work), and the laws regarding pro-rata treatment of part time workers is only valid for holiday entitlement, which I know is wrong, but I'm unsure if it would apply to something like passouts.

    Of course they are a benefit - because they are not legally required. They are a benefit your organisation offers. If it's not a benefit, then it's a term of your employment
    by Kiki
    I raised this with them at the time and they have reportedly spoken to ACAS who confirmed that it does not count as a benefit.

    Pass outs are a discretionary thing , an employer is under no obligation to give you time off for doctors appointments etc
    by Browntoa
    Pass-outs are not specifically for doctors appointments. We can use them at our discretion. Things such as your kid is doing a school play in the afternoon you'd like to catch. The doctors is simply the example they gave, and even then they've made it clear that they don't have to grant your request.
    • Browntoa
    • By Browntoa 11th May 18, 12:30 PM
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    Browntoa
    I worked for a large company in the past , our pass outs were called casual leave but was always local level and you could get refused or made to take leave. It was dependent on staffing levels and if it was felt you were abusing the system .

    It was never contractual or a benefit
    I'm the Board Guide of the Referrers ,Telephones, Pensions , Shop Don't drop ,over 50's and Discount Code boards which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum runnning smoothly .However, please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 11th May 18, 1:43 PM
    • 19,141 Posts
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    jobbingmusician

    I have asked their opinion on the law regarding this and they have insisted that they have objrctive justification (the whole 'part timers can book doctors outside work), and the laws regarding pro-rata treatment of part time workers is only valid for holiday entitlement, which I know is wrong, but I'm unsure if it would apply to something like passouts.

    I raised this with them at the time and they have reportedly spoken to ACAS who confirmed that it does not count as a benefit.

    Pass-outs are not specifically for doctors appointments. We can use them at our discretion. Things such as your kid is doing a school play in the afternoon you'd like to catch. The doctors is simply the example they gave, and even then they've made it clear that they don't have to grant your request.
    Originally posted by TheBlueReptile
    Honestly, this really riles my sense of fairness.

    1. Part time workers are simply that. They are paid for the time they work. Employers have no right to make assumptions about what they do with the rest of their time - and that includes making assumptions that 'they will be free to......' ALL benefits should be pro rata. Legally.

    2. (Individual workers at) ACAS are often wrong. I think they are wrong on this occasion.

    3. If pass-outs are granted to FT workers for specific things like children's plays, why does the employer feel that PT workers 'will be free to......'? Their own arguments aren't even consistent or logical. (I do appreciate, OP, that this is the point you are making.)
    I'm the Board Guide on the Matched Betting; Referrers and Jobseeking & Training boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

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