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Part-time work

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Part-time work

 

SUMMARY OF:

Directive 97/81/EC – the Framework Agreement on part-time working concluded by UNICE, CEEP and the ETUC

Part time workers receive comparable treatment to full time staff.

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DIRECTIVE?

  • It seeks to implement the Framework Agreement on part-time work agreed between the European Union’s (EU) employers and trade unions (the social partners).
  • The agreement sets out to remove unjustified discrimination of part-time workers and improve the quality of part-time work. It also aims to help develop part-time work on a voluntary basis and allow employees and employers to organise working time in a way which suits both parties’ needs.

KEY POINTS

Who does it apply to?

It applies to part-time workers who have an employment contract or employment relationship as defined in each EU country. Those working only on a casual basis may be excluded for objective reasons following consultation between the EU country concerned and its social partners.

Non-discrimination

Part-time workers cannot be treated less favourably than comparable full-time workers solely because they work part-time, unless it can be objectively justified. Particular employment conditions may be subject to a period of service, time worked or based on the level of earnings, following consultation between EU countries and social partners.

Access to part-time work

EU countries and social partners should seek out, review and if necessary removevice versa any legal or administrative issue which reduces opportunities for part-time work. A worker’s refusal to transfer from full-time to part-time work orvice versa is not sufficient reason for their dismissal.

The role of employers

Employers should fully consider:

  • requests to transfer from full-time work to any part-time work that becomes available
  • requests to transfer from part-time to full-time or to increase working time where the opportunity arises
  • providing timely information on the availability of part-time and full-time jobs
  • measures to promote part-time work at all levels of the company
  • providing appropriate information to worker's representatives about part-time working.

Implementation

EU countries or social partners can introduce more favourable rules than those set out in the agreement. However, implementing the agreement is not a valid reason to reduce the general level of protection afforded to part-time workers.

For more information, see Working Conditions — Part-Time Work on the European Commission's website.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Council Directive 97/81/EC of 15 December 1997 concerning the Framework Agreement on part-time working concluded by UNICE, CEEP and the ETUC - Annex : Framework agreement on part-time work (OJ L 14, 20.1.1998, pp. 9-14)

Successive amendments to Directive 97/81/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

National implementation measures

Report by the Commission’s services on the implementation of Council Directive 97/81/EC of 17 December 1997 concerning the Framework Agreement on Part-time work concluded by UNICE, CEEP and the ETUC, 21.1.2003

This report is complemented by 2 studies:

Commission Report - Implementation of Directive 97/81/EC concerning the framework agreement on part-time work concluded by UNICE, CEEP and ETUC (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) (2007)

Reports (Executive Summaries) on the implementation of Directive 1997/81/EC in Bulgaria and in Romania (2009)

last update 04.12.2016

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