Access to Training for Part-time Workers

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2006 National Women's Conference
20 October 2005

Conference notes that:

1)the number of part-time workers has increased dramatically over the last 20 years. There are now 7.3 million part-time workers in the United Kingdom and over three-quarters of them are women;

2)in UNISON about 40 percent of our women members work part-time;

3)women working part-time are earning on average 40 percent less than full time male workers are;

4)women who work part-time are often concentrated in low paid, low level jobs;

5)women working part-time are often denied access to training either intentionally or by default. This serves to reinforce their position in the workforce as the lowest paid, least skilled, workers;

6)many part-time workers do not realise that by law they have the same rights to training as full time staff.

Therefore, Conference asks the National Women’s Committee to work with the National Executive Council to:

a)produce materials informing part-time women workers of their rights to be treated equally to full time workers with particular emphasis on access to training;

b)produce a guide for branches to use when negotiating issues around part-time workers with employers. This guide should include examples of best practice for employers to use when considering the training needs of part-time women workers;

c)encourage employers to increase access to child care to enable part-time women workers to attend training during times they would not have normally worked.