You are considered a part-time employee if your normal hours of work are less than the normal hours of work of full-time employees.
A part-time worker must be granted the same access to a pension as a comparable full-time employee.
The Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act 2001 affords part-time employees the right not to be treated less favourably than comparable full-time employees in respect of their conditions of employment.
The Act covers conditions of employment which, in relation to a pension arrangement, include eligibility for membership, entitlements to rights under the pension arrangement, and conditions relating to the making of contributions.
An exemption exists where there is an objective justification for the less favourable treatment and, in relation to pensions only, where the part-time employee works less than 20% of the normal hours of work of the comparable full-time employee. However, your employer’s pension scheme may override this exception and treat all part-time employees in the same way as permanent employees.
A pro-rata principle applies to the amount or scope of benefits under conditions of employment. Generally this means that benefits and/or contributions are reduced for part-time workers in proportion to the number of hours worked.