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Part-time workers

In Forth Valley Health Board v Campbell a part-time worker complained that he was unfavourably treated as a part-time worker because he didn’t get breaks on the same basis as full-time workers. Full-time workers were entitled to a 15 minute break when they worked shifts of 6 hours or more. Mr Campbell did sometimes work 6 hour shifts and was then entitled to a break, but most often he worked 4 hours and wasn’t given a break. The Employment Tribunal decided that the employer’s practice was less favourable to part-time workers who by definition worked less hours. The matter went to the Employment Appeal Tribunal who took a very different view and perhaps a common-sense view. It decided that the reason why Mr Campbell didn’t receive paid breaks was not because he was part-time but due to the length of shifts which he worked. It is a question of which way you look through the telescope!

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