It is not acceptable for an employer to say that it would be too expensive to provide you with the same benefits such as holidays, sick pay or training as full-time staff; at the very least they should be provided on a pro rata basis.
If the company refuses to do so it may well constitute indirect discrimination. Another area of particular concern is that women part-time employees earn considerable less than their male counterparts - a good reason to strengthen trade union membership.
It is a sad fact that the British work the longest hours in Europe, with stress being the greatest cause of absence from work. Unfortunately, despite government encouragement, many companies have not introduced family-friendly working.
Family-friendly concerns are not the only consideration - finding time for learning, or taking part in community life, are equally powerful motivators for balancing life at work with life outside.
Employers have always wanted flexibility to compete and provide better services. Chelmsford TUC believes that people should have far more choice about the hours they work, and be able to fit work around their caring responsibilities and their other interests.
Where the workplace is trade union organised - conditions are invariably superior. This is why you must join a trade union.