Writing in the Telegraph on Wednesday, Vince Cable set out the Government’s vision for the future of zero hours contracts.
In his article, Mr Cable highlights some of the benefits that zero hour contracts have for employers and employees, mainly relating to the flexibility they offer both parties.
However, he acknowledged that the contracts were the subject of widespread criticism, particularly where they contain so-called “exclusivity clauses” which prevent employees from working for other employers even where they are being offered no work or pay under the contracts. Mr Cable also recognised a perceived lack of transparency surrounding the rights of employees who enter into such contracts, which must be addressed.
The article was published on the same day as the Small Business Bill was placed before Parliament. The Bill, which contains a proposed ban on exclusivity clauses, has been hailed as a step in the right direction, and Mr Cable emphasised that this was part of the Coalition’s commitment to tackling all of the issues surrounding zero hour contracts going forward.
Mr Cable also suggested that further consultations will take place with unions and employees to form a code of practice on the fair use of zero hour contracts.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of zero hour contracts with a member of our employment team, call us on 01737 854 500