Part-time work: vacation, illness and entitlement

Difference between part-time and full-time positions

In principle, the same labor and social law provisions apply to part-time employment as to full-time employment, but disadvantages can arise depending on the type of part-time job, particularly in the area of social security. This applies above all to so-called marginal part-time jobs).

Part-time employees naturally only have a right to the proportionate wage, which is based on their working hours. The assessment basis is the level of remuneration for a corresponding full-time position. Different remuneration is only permitted for objective reasons (e.g. different qualifications or work performance).
It also follows from the prohibition of unequal treatment of part-time and full-time employees that you are generally entitled to the proportional payment of special allowances (such as Christmas or vacation pay) as well as allowances above the collective bargaining agreement. In the case of so-called voluntary benefits (e.g. bonuses), it depends on whether these are only granted on the basis of full-time employment. If this is not the case, then you also have a pro-rata entitlement. If in doubt, you should contact your works or staff council - if available.

Part-time employees are paid the same hourly wage as full-time employees. They must also be classified in the same collective bargaining or company pay groups as their full-time colleagues. In addition, the same working time regulations and rules on breaks apply to them as to full-time employees. However, the duration and distribution of working hours is usually determined in an employment contract, whereby operational organizational processes are of course also taken into account. The works or staff council, however, usually has extensive say.

Do part-time workers have to work overtime?

The overtime regulations for part-time workers are stricter than those for full-time workers. In principle, overtime is only permitted for part-time employees if overtime work has been contractually agreed and an unforeseen workload has occurred.

If no overtime regulation has been made, your boss may only ask you to work overtime in absolute emergencies, for example if no full-time colleagues can take on it and an event that could damage business would occur without your help (e.g. a food delivery would spoil). In addition, the works or staff council must have approved your overtime work beforehand. Of course, your employer has to pay you extra for overtime work. However, without a corresponding express agreement, you have no legal entitlement to an overtime allowance. According to the case law of the Federal Labor Court, only those hours that go beyond the regular working hours of full-time employees of the company are considered overtime.

How much vacation are part-time workers entitled to?

Part-time employees are entitled to paid annual leave regardless of the number of hours they work. Of course, this also applies to so-called marginal employees.
If you work a certain number of hours every day, then you are entitled to as many vacation days as your full-time colleagues. If, on the other hand, you are only at the company on individual days of the week, you will receive proportionally less vacation.

Beispiel: Sie arbeiten an zwei Tagen in der Woche. Die Woche hat in Ihrem business fünf Arbeitstage. Wenn der jährliche Urlaubsanspruch Ihrer Vollzeit-Kollegen 25 Tage beträgt, dann stehen Ihnen 10 Urlaubstage zu.

Of course, you are also entitled to a pro rata holiday allowance.
The following applies to public holidays: If they fall on days of the week on which you normally work, you are free and entitled to payment of your wages. On the other hand, you have no claims on public holidays outside of your part-time work.

What if you get sick?

In the event of illness, part-time employees are also generally entitled to continued payment of wages, regardless of how many hours they work per week or month. This also applies to marginal part-time employees. As a rule, the amount of continued wage or salary payment is based on the »loss of wage principle«. This means that you have to be reimbursed for the hours lost on average due to your incapacity for work.

Entitlement to maternity leave

Frauen mit Teilzeitjobs haben sowohl Anspruch auf —± Maternity Protection (sechs Wochen vor und acht bzw. zwölf Wochen nach der Entbindung) als auch auf die —> Elternzeit.

Does the Dismissal Protection Act also apply to part-time employees?

Part-time employees generally have the same protection against dismissal as their full-time colleagues. According to the case law of the European Court of Justice, when a part-time employee is dismissed, full-time employees are not to be included in the social selection process.

Up until now, part-time employees were more often viewed as "less in need of social protection" than full-time employees when they were dismissed for operational reasons, and were therefore more likely to be dismissed.

When is there a right to part-time work?

According to the Part-Time and Temporary Employment Act, which has been in force since January 1, 2001, you have the right to convert a full-time to part-time position from your employer under the following conditions:

· You are employed in a company with more than 15 employees. Previous part-time employees are to be included in the calculation. Apprentices do not count.

· You must have been with the company for at least six months.

· Part-time employment must not conflict with any operational reasons.

· The job must be suitable for part-time employment.

You must notify your employer of your wish to convert your position into a part-time position at least three months in advance of the desired date. If you have not received a rejection from your boss up to four weeks before the intended conversion, you have a legal right to conversion, which you can then enforce in court if necessary.

If it later turns out that the conversion is unreasonable for your boss, he can insist that the employment relationship be continued under the original conditions.
Employees who take up a part-time position may not be disadvantaged in future promotions or new appointments, nor may they be excluded from training or further training measures.

Since 01/01/2001, vacancies in the company must also be advertised as part-time positions

become. The works or staff council must always be informed about part-time work in the company.
However, employees must not be forced to switch from full-time to part-time positions. Part-time employees who would like to work full-time later on must always be given priority when filling vacancies in the company (if they are equally qualified).

Part-time work - important judgments

No compulsory part-time work for civil servants
The hiring of a teacher as a civil servant must not be made dependent on his consent to the reduction in working hours and the associated lower pay. Such an imposed part-time employment with reduced pay shortens the constitutional right of the civil servant to full-time service with full pay. Therefore, the civil servant can request full-time employment.
BVerwG, March 2, 2000 - AZ: 2 C 1/99

Social choice among part-time workers
According to Section 1, Paragraph 3 of the Employment Protection Act, a social selection must be made before a company-related dismissal is pronounced. If a part-time employee is dismissed, it is permissible if full-time employees are not included in the social selection. This is true even if significantly more women than men work part-time in the company.
ECJ, September 26, 2000 - AZ: C-322/98

No overtime bonuses for part-time employees
If, according to the collective agreement, only those working hours that exceed the regular working hours of full-time employees count as overtime, then part-time employees are not entitled to the payment of overtime bonuses.
BAG - AZ: 6 AZR 453/94

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