The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that a zero hours lecturer was employer on the same type of contract as a permanent, full-time lecturer.

zero hours.jpgThe employee, in this case, was employed on a zero hours contract as a part-time lecturer. He brought a claim under the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, seeking to compare himself to a permanent full-time lecturer.

The tribunal held that he had not identified a valid comparator, on the basis that the two individuals were not employed under the same type of contract, as required by the Regulations. However, on appeal the Employment Appeal Tribunal said that the employee and his comparator were both employed under the same type of contract. They were both, it said, employees employed under a contract of employment.

Zero hours worker was on same type of contract

It said that there are four types of contract that are regarded as different to one another, which are broadly defined. Provided the worker and comparator answer to the same description in one of the categories, they are to be regarded as employed under the same type of contract. There are not yet examples of what type of contract falls into the fourth, residual category but zero-hours contracts were not a type of contract, it said, for these purposes.

It went on to say that a contract is not of a different type just because the terms and conditions it lays down are different. If a part-time worker’s hours were seen as a distinctive feature of dissimilarity compared to that of a full-time worker, it would defeat the purpose of the legislation.

Case reference: Roddis v Sheffield Hallam University