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Part-time hours defended

AN employment tribunal in Bristol this week ruled that "variable hours" terms for part-time workers could be discriminatory if applied in a way that makes teaching incompatible with childcare responsibilities. The judgment was made in a case brought by the National Union of Teachers in which a design and technology teacher from Sir William Romney's school in Tetbury, Gloucesershire, was forced to resign after a reorganisation of the timetable left her unable to meet her childcare needs. Moya Shannon was told she no longer had any guaranteed free days and must either leave her child in the care of a sixth-form pupil while she taught or hire a full-time childminder, which she could not afford. A financial settlement will now be agreed.

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