Update on zero hours contracts: exclusivity clauses now in force

worker-646443_1280We previously reported on zero hours contracts (Zero hours contracts – closing the loopholes). From yesterday (26 May 2015), exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts were outlawed.

A zero hours contract is a contract under which a worker undertakes to do or perform work or services as and when the employer requires, but there is no obligation on the employer to make work or services available to the worker. This means that workers on zero hours contracts have no certainty about the hours of work they will get, and therefore have no certainty as to their income from one week or month to the next. For those that need a certain level of income each month, the situation is made even more difficult where zero hours contracts also contain an exclusivity clause preventing the worker from working for any other employer.

The ban on exclusivity clauses means that an employer can no longer prevent a worker from doing work or performing services under another contract or any other arrangement, either with or without the employer’s consent. The ban applies not only to zero hours contracts entered into from 26 May 2015, but also to zero hours contracts that were in existence at that date.

Employers who use zero hours contracts therefore need to review their existing contracts and amend where necessary to ensure that they are legally compliant.

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