Part-time workers—discrimination issues relating to pensions
Produced in partnership with Elizabeth Ovey of Radcliffe Chambers
Part-time workers—discrimination issues relating to pensions

The following Pensions guidance note Produced in partnership with Elizabeth Ovey of Radcliffe Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Part-time workers—discrimination issues relating to pensions
  • The legislative framework
  • Equal treatment legislation
  • Part-time workers—indirect discrimination
  • Discrimination claim—retrospectivity
  • Discrimination claim—time limits
  • The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000
  • Making the right effective
  • Part-time firefighters and the Part-time Workers Regulations
  • Part-time judges and the Part-time Workers Regulations
  • more

The legislative framework

There are two separate areas of legislation which have to be considered in the context of part-time workers and discrimination. The first area is the legislation relating to equal treatment of men and women. Historically, more women than men have worked part-time, so employment terms, including the terms of pension schemes, which are less favourable to part-time workers may well discriminate against women. The second area is legislation specifically aimed at protecting part-time workers.

Equal treatment legislation

Legislative provisions designed to secure equal treatment for men and women in relation to pension schemes have a lengthy history.

The current domestic provisions are to be found in section 67 of the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010), which provides that a pension scheme which does not contain a sex equality rule will be treated as if it did. A sex equality rule is one which has the effect, among other things, that if a relevant term is less favourable to A than to B (A and B being of the opposite sex), it is to be modified so as not to be less favourable.

For the purposes of EqA 2010, s 67, a term is relevant if it relates to:

  1. the terms on which persons become members of the scheme, or

  2. the terms on which members of the scheme