The Part Time Employee

Protecting Employee's Rights

clock with banner stating a closer look at part time workers rightsThe rights of Part Time Workers in Ireland are protected by The Protection of Employees ( Part-time Work ) Act, 2003.


What is the definition of a Part-time employee?

A part-time employee is someone who has less working hours than a comparable full time employee carrying out the same type of work.

How does the Act protect the part-time worker?

Under the Act an employer cannot treat a Part-time less favourably than a full time comparable employee regarding any condition of employment.

What are conditions of employment ?

Conditions of Employment cover areas such as, contracts of employment, hours of work, pay, time off, health and safety, trade unions, data protection, employment rights.


What is a comparable employee?

For the purposes of the act a part time worker can be compared to a full time worker when the following conditions apply:

  • Both the part time and the full time worker perform the same work under similar circumstances.

  • The work performed by each employee is of the same or similar nature. Any variation in work is so minor as to not make a difference to the nature of the work.

And also

  • The value of the work performed by the part time worker is of equal or greater value to the work of the full time employee.


The employer is prohibited from Penalising the worker for exerting their rights under Irish employment law.

For more on penalisation see


What type of part-time employee is covered?


The Act applies to any part-time employee who is :

  • working under a contract of employment or apprenticeship

  • holding office under, or in service of the State

  • employed through an agency. For more on agency workers see


  Guide to the Protection of Employees (Part-time Work) Act. Download here

Where can I get more information and help?


Contact us using the orange Yes! Tell Me More button below, for a free time limited consultation. You’ll be glad you did. 


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