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Government in bid to restrict abuse of zero hours contracts

BY Sarah Mennie
Employment Law & HR
BG Purple

Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced that it is the government’s intention to ban exclusivity clauses in zero hour contracts.

Exclusivity clauses prevent workers under zero hours contracts working for another company despite not being guaranteed any work.

The decision comes following a government consultation launched in December 2013 amidst the media furore over zero hour contract abuse.

Whilst there was call from some that zero hours contracts be banned entirely the government has recognised that they “offer valuable flexible working opportunities” for individuals when used fairly by employers.

The government estimates that 125,000 zero hours contract workers will benefit from the ban.

Vince Cable also announced that there will be further consultation on how to prevent employers evading the exclusivity ban, for example through the use of 1 hours fixed contracts, along with government plans to develop a code of practice on the fair use of zero hours contracts by the end of 2014.

Should your zero hour contracts contain exclusivity clauses or you feel you need any support in this area please contact your Legal Manager.

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