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The Harborough Mail recently reported that Leicestershire and Rutland Combined Fire Authority are looking to close Kibworth fire station.  Similarly, the Leicester Mercury has reported that Leicester Central fire station is set to close, in order to save a combined £3m between the two stations.

What this means for Leicestershire fire service employees

There could be as many as 90 redundancies made as part of the plans to cut the fire service’s budget.  However, as reported in the Harborough Mail; Kibworth-based district councillor Phil King pointed out, staff at Kibworth fire station work part- time and full-time staff could be able to start their response to emergencies more quickly, even though journey times would be a little longer.  This could mean that in order to save their jobs, or to transfer to another station, the part time workers at Kibworth may need to consider whether full-time hours could be a viable option for them.

Part-time v full-time workers

A part-time worker is someone who is contracted for anything less than the basic full-time equivalent of a minimum of 36 hours per week.  People who work part-time have the right to be treated no less favourably than comparable full-timers, this means they should:

  • Receive the same rates of pay  and other benefits
  • Not be excluded from training courses just because they work part-time
  • Receive the same holidays (pro rata) as full-time employees
  • Not be treated less favourably when selected for redundancy
  • Have any career break schemes and parental leave made available to them and as for full-time workers

Can employees be forced to work full-time?

If an employer feels that a job role has increased and needs the employee within the role to work full-time hours in order to keep up with demand, they may ask an employee to increase their hours to full-time.   However, unless an employer has a pre-agreed contractual right to enforce the increase in hours, they cannot change an employee’s role from part-time to full-time role without the employee’s agreement.

Questions about employment law in Market Harborough

If you have any questions about part-time or full-time employment issues or you feel you have been forced to make a change at work, which you did not agree to, contact our team of employment law specialists at our offices in Market Harborough, Leicester and Hinckley, by using the following telephone numbers.