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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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Matthew Clayton MA LLM (Cantab), CIPP/E
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