Newsflash: Zero hours contracts and exclusivity

zero hours - hand holding timer showing zeroWhat do we already know?

In a July Newsflash Zero hours contracts – ban on exclusivity we let you know that the Government had published its response to the zero hours consultation, announcing plans to, amongst other things, ban exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts. We also reported that the Government would further consult on how to prevent employers evading the exclusivity ban by, for example, offering a one hour fixed contract.

What’s new?

The Government has now launched its consultation on how to prevent employers avoiding the exclusivity ban. The Consultation, Banning Exclusivity Clauses: Tackling Avoidance is available here.

The Consultation asks for views, amongst other things, on how exclusivity clauses might be avoided, how to prevent this and whether there should be consequences for an employer if they circumvent a ban. The Consultation gives the following examples of the types of potential avoidance that it wants to tackle: drafting contracts in such a way as to fall outside the definition of a ‘zero hours contract’ (e.g. offering a nominal number of guaranteed hours) or not providing work to individuals simply because they have taken work elsewhere.

The Government also proposes what further guidance may contain. However, it would be up to each industry or sector to provide its own specific guidance, to be decided by unions and employers.

The closing date for responses to the Consultation is 3 November 2014.