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July 14, 2000
Part-Time Workers Gain Full-time Parity in Great Britain

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LONDON -- If the current trend toward globalization of benefits continues, U.S. employers should get ready for a new development concerning benefits for their part-time workers. As of July 1, part-time employees in the United Kingdom receive the same pay, vacation leave, pensions, even training as full-time workers. England's new regs reflect its implementation of the European Union's Part-Time Work Directive.

The rules stipulate that part-time workers will have the same benefits and compensation as comparable full-timers:

- they must get the same hourly rate

- the same overtime rate, if they work normal full-time hours;

- get the same training

- have the same annual leave and maternity/parental leave (pro-rata basis)

The Department of Trade and Industry is the government organization that released the rules. It noted that since 80% of part-timers are women the new rules should help prevent 'indirect discrimination' under the Sex Discrimination Act."

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