Zero hours contract – new laws coming…

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

In a July 2014 Newsflash Zero hours contracts – ban on exclusivity we let you know that the Government had announced plans to, amongst other things, ban exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts. The Government then launched a consultation, Banning Exclusivity Clauses: Tackling Avoidance, on how to prevent employers avoiding the exclusivity ban.

What’s new?

The Government has published the results of its consultation on the proposed ban of exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts, available here. As a result of the consultation, the Government has issued the draft Zero Hours Workers (Exclusivity Terms) Regulations 2015 for consideration by Parliament. These draft regulations outline the Government proposals for tackling anti-avoidance such that:

  • exclusivity terms are unenforceable unless there is a guaranteed minimum level of income for the worker. It is proposed that the minimum income will be calculated by reference to an agreed number of hours multiplied by the National Minimum Wage; and
  • if an employer subjects the worker to detriment on grounds that they performed services for another employer, the worker will be entitled to seek compensation through a Tribunal and the employer could be subject to financial penalties.

However, it appears that the above measures will not apply where a worker receives at least £20 per hour.

It is worth noting also that given the general election is only weeks away, these proposals may not survive a change in Government.