Labour Research (March 2012)

Law Queries

Job comparators

Q. A colleague works part-time. They believe that a full-timer who works elsewhere in the building is receiving better treatment than them. They have raised a grievance about this but the employer says that the person they have identified as receiving better treatment is not an appropriate comparator. Which full-time workers can be used as comparators for a part-timer?

A. The requirements for who can be a comparator are set out in regulation 2(4) of the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000.

Essentially a comparable full-time worker is someone who is employed by the same employer under the same type of contract, and in the same or broadly similar work. To establish whether someone is carrying out the same or broadly similar work, regard can be had — where relevant — to whether they have a similar level of qualifications, skills and experience to your member.

The comparator should also be a full-time worker who works or is based at the same establishment as your member. However, where there is no full-time worker based at that establishment, someone based at a different establishment will do.

Also, someone who used to be a full-time worker, but who is now on a part-time contract, can be a comparator.

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