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Feminist Legal Studies

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 85–98 | Cite as

“Comparable Workers” and the Part-Time Workers Regulations

Matthews v. Kent and Medway Towns Fire Authority [2006] U.K.H.L. 8
  • Olivia Smith
Article
  • 69 Downloads

Abstract

The House of Lords majority decision in Matthews v. Kent and Medway Towns Fire Authority overturns the narrow interpretation given to key aspects of the Part-Time Workers (Protection of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations’ core comparator mechanism in the lower tribunals and the Court of Appeal. It is a contextually astute judgment, which recognises the reductionist implications of an overly narrow approach to establishing comparability for the purposes of a less favourable treatment claim on the grounds of part-time work. The positive aspect of this decision remains overshadowed, however, by the fact that this interpretation provides little consolation to the large majority of part-time women workers whose disadvantage and inequality remains outside the scope of the Regulations’ protection.

Keywords

comparators comparable full-time workers less favourable treatment part-time workers Part-Time Workers Regulations 

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Notes

Acknowledgement

I am grateful to Dimitra Nassimpian for casting a critical eye over this note. The usual disclaimer applies.

References

  1. Conaghan, J., “Time to Dream? Flexibility, Families, the Regulation of Working Time”, in Precarious Work, Women, and the New Economy eds. J. Fudge & R. Owens (Oxford: Hart, 2006), 101–129Google Scholar
  2. Department for Communities and Local Government, Government Action Plan – Implementing the Women and Work Commission Recommendations (London: HMSO, 2006)Google Scholar
  3. Jouhette, S. & Romans, F., EU Labour Force Survey: Principal Results 2005 (Eurostat, 2006)Google Scholar
  4. McColgan A., (2000) “Missing the Point? The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000, No. 1551)”. Industrial Law Journal 29/3, 260–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Sohrab J.A., (1993) “Avoiding the ‹Exquisite Trap’: A Critical Look at the Equal Treatment/Special Treatment Debate in Law”. Feminist Legal Studies 1/2, 141–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Law and GovernmentDublin City UniversityDublinIreland

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