Your Questions Answered: Flexible and Part-time Work

My husband and I both have successful full-time careers. Now that my little girl has been born, we both want to reduce our working days to four days a week. Does my husband have the same rights as me to work part-time? What protection is there to ensure he does not get penalised for wanting to work part-time? He works for a company with a very ‘macho’ culture.

It is good to hear that you both want to share the care of your daughter. There are lots of benefits to the family when Dad is around more. You’ll be glad to know that you both have the right to ask for flexible work. From April this year all parents of children aged 16 and under have the right to ask for this. However, you should be prepared to make a case for how the company will benefit if you go part time as they do not have to grant your request. There are a number of grounds on which your company can refuse – read more about this in the flexible working section of the blog here.

Assuming you are successful in your bids to work 4 days a week, the Part Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 give part-timers the right to equal treatment. This covers pay, sick pay, holidays, fringe benefits and consideration for promotion. Thompsons Solicitors have a fuller guide to this legislation online in this useful guide.

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