Employees working under zero hour contracts will be free to find other employment to boost their income after the Business Secretary Vince Cable announced plans to ban exclusivity clauses.
Today’s announcement follows a Government consultation into zero hours contracts to which 83% of the responses said they were in favour of banning exclusivity clauses in zero hours contacts.
Exclusivity clauses prevent an individual from working for another employer, even when their employer is unable to guarantee them work. During the announcement Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Zero hours contracts have a place in today’s labour market… But it has become clear that some unscrupulous employers abuse the flexibility that these contracts offer to the detriment of their workers”.
The Business Secretary also announced that the Government will:
- Consult further on how to prevent employers evading the exclusivity ban, for example through offering 1 hour fixed contracts.
- Work with unions and representatives to develop a code of practice on the fair use of zero hours contracts by the end of the year.
- Work with stakeholders to review existing guidance and improve information available to employees and employers on using these contracts
The ban will be part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, which has been introduced to Parliament today.
The ban is unlikely to have a significant impact in the RP sector as despite estimates that there are 125,000 zero hours contract workers tied to an exclusivity clause, it is very unusual to find this in the RP sector.
For more information, please contact a member of the Employment Team.