ACAS have this morning opened a period of consultation into how best to police the planned ban on exclusivity clauses in zero hour contracts which will come into force when the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill makes its way through Parliament. An exclusivity clause prevents the worker signed up to a zero hours contract from taking other paid work. (See our blog dated 27 June 2014)
Today’s consultation is the latest chapter in the Government’s move to regulate the use of zero hour contracts in the wake of calls from trade unions and other employee groups.
Following a call for information and subsequent consultation the Government decided that an outright ban on zero hour contracts was inappropriate but that it is unfair to prevent zero hour workers from looking for paid work elsewhere.
Concerns have been raised that employers could potentially sidestep the exclusivity ban, for example by offering contracts that guarantee just one hour of work (which would, of course, mean that they wouldn’t then be “zero hour” contracts at all). Therefore, today’s consultation seeks views on the best mechanism to tackle avoidance of the exclusivity ban and possible routes of redress for the individual.
The consultation document and forms to participate are available here https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/347034/bis-14-992-zero-hours-employment-contracts-exclusivity-clause-ban-avoidance.pdf. The Government encourages all employers to participate where they have a view. The closing date is 3 November.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of zero hour contracts with a member of our employment team.