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Do I need to pay part-timers for bank holidays?

23 June 2006

This often-asked question was at the heart of McMenemy v Capita Business Services Ltd that went to the Employment Appeal Tribunal recently.

Mr McMenemy switched from full- to part-time working at Capita, a company that operates seven days a week. It is the company’s policy that only those working on the day a bank holiday falls will benefit from it. As McMenemy no longer worked on a Monday, he missed out on most bank holidays.

He brought a claim under the Part-Time Workers Regulations to the effect that the company’s failure to allow him time off in lieu put him at a disadvantage when compared with full-timers. Part-time workers are, of course, protected from detrimental treatment as a result of their hours.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed that McMenemy was worse off for holidays than other members of his team but this was not related to his part-time status. The detriment arose because he did not work on a Monday. By comparison, full-time employees who didn’t work on Mondays similarly lost out.

Every case will depend on the particular facts but if a business operates Monday to Friday, the normal working days for full-time staff will, by definition include public holidays. A similar claim brought by a part-timer may therefore, in some circumstances, succeed.

As always, if you need commercial and pragmatic legal advice, we’re here to help so please get in touch.

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Disclaimer: All legal information is correct at the time of publication but please be aware that laws may change over time. This article contains general legal information but should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please seek professional legal advice about your specific situation - contact us; we’d be delighted to help.
Matthew Clayton MA LLM (Cantab), CIPP/E
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Mathew Clayton
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