Zero Hours Contracts


Zero Hours Contracts – Exclusivity Outlawed.

By a provision of the Small Businesses, Enterprise and Employment Bill which will make an addition to section 27A of the Employment Rights Act, exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts will be unenforceable by employers.

But,what does this all mean?

There has been a rise of zero hours contracts over the past few years and many workers are offered these contracts rather than permanent jobs. Used properly and fairly a zero hours contract is a useful business tool for employers and employees alike, however unscrupulous employers have made additions to the contracts which do nothing to promote fairness. The new legislation will address one of those issues.

Used properly a zero hours contract is designed so that an employer can offer work when he has it, but is under no obligation to provide work when he has a quiet period or when no work is available. The employee is fee to accept the work if he is available, but equally free to reject the offer of work if it does not suit him This type of contract is good for students, housewives, musicians etc. all who may have other duties that impact on their ability to take ‘normal’ full or part time employment. Recently there has been a lot of news stories about abuse of zero hours contracts, particularly when employers bring there staff in to work and then send them away a short time later or, as this legislation addresses, making a clause in the zero hours contract that prohibits the employee from doing any work for another employer – an exclusivity clause. With this exclusivity clause made unenforceable, employees will be free to sign up with several work providers and then choose to take the best offer, obviously meaning that they have better bargaining power when it comes to accepting work.

If you are on a zero hours contract and you feel that your boss may not be playing fair, give the employment law experts at Alpha Law a call on 0845 070 0505 (Please note: Calls to this number will cost approximately 4p per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge) to get the latest update on changes to the legislation.