Zero hours contracts have been in the news, on and off, for many months. As part of the Small Business, Enterprise & Employment Bill (published on 25th June 2014) the government has announced plans to ban exclusivity clauses in contracts that offer no guarantee of work and to improve transparency of zero hours contracts by increasing the availability of information for employees. The consultation received an overwhelming 36,000 responses, with 83% in favour of banning exclusivity clauses.
This new Bill states that any provision of a zero hours contract, prohibiting a worker from working under another contract, or prohibits them from doing so without the employer’s consent, is unenforceable. This change means that workers have total freedom to seek work with more than one employer.
At the same point the Government announced plans to develop a code of practice on the fair use of zero hours contracts (to be published at the end of 2014), review existing guidance/information available to employees and employers and carry out further consultation on how to prevent employers from evading the ban.