Employment Update: Exclusivity clauses banned in zero-hours contracts – so how does this affect you?

On 26 May 2015 the government banned the use of exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts. This means that any provision within a zero-hours contract which prevents an employee from working elsewhere will be unenforceable. So how does this affect you?

The Employee:

This new ruling will allow employees on zero-hours contracts the flexibility to increase their income by being permitted to work for more than one organisation.

Nick Boles, Minister of State for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills confirmed that the current government welcomes the measures stating that:

“Exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts prevent people from boosting their income when they have no guarantee of work,” Boles said. “Banning these clauses will give working people the freedom to take other work opportunities and more control over their work hours and income. It brings financial security one step closer for lots of families.”

The Employer:

Employers will need to revisit their contracts and remove any exclusivity clauses. They will also need to ensure the confidentiality, IP provisions and restrictive covenants are up to scratch to cover the risk of the employee working for a competitor.

CBI Director for Employment and Skills Neil Carberry also welcomed the ban. He said:

“Banning exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts is a proportionate response to tackling examples of poor practice.” Caution was given against “further regulation” that might have a negative impact on the UK’s “flexible labour market”, which he called “an important success story of our economy, benefitting employers and employees alike”.

For further information, or for guidance or advice, please do not hesitate to contact our employment experts Mark Hirst, Nick Clough or Rachael Frankland.




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