Unfair contracts for admin staff
The following point was recently put to me. "One of the biggest scandals for support staff is that they are not rewarded for long service as are full time employees and part time employees (i.e. with extra holiday leave). As far as I know this is illegal (i.e. treating term time staff differently to other staff.) But it has gone on for years.
"Also under the latest job evaluation gradings I believe support staff in schools will get rises and admin staff in schools pay cuts because the job they do isn't always recognised in pay."
The School of Educational Administration (which runs this news service) is not set up to give legal advice. So in this case I turned to Voice: the union for education professionals. Their details are given at the end.
David Brierley, Solicitor at Voice: the union for education professionals very kindly took time to reply to this comment. Here's what he said.
"The practice of different long-term service rewards for support staff because they are part-timers is at best right on the edge of lawfulness and certainly against the spirit of legislation that has been in place since 2000.
"Those regulations were intended to do what it says on the tin: the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000. It is now unlawful for employers to treat part-timers less favourably in their terms and conditions of employment than comparable full-timers. In its consultation paper the government said that it was proposing to ensure that part-timers were not treated as second class employees with worse pay and non-wage benefits than full-timers, to raise the status of part-time employment and to create conditions where more people were willing to work part-time.
"If this practice was challenged legally, the employer would have to show that this was either a legitimate application of the pro rata principle or that there was an objective justification for this different treatment.
"If this practice was challenged on a “best practice” basis, it is difficult to see what defence or justification there could be."
I cannot imagine that anyone is going to be able to take this matter up without utilising a Union because it affects so many people. And obviously it is not for me to dictate which union you use, but I would certainly like to give the warmest thanks to Voice for taking the time in giving us this guidance on this matter.
Here are the details of Voice: