From today employers will no longer be able to use exclusivity clauses in zero hour contracts.

A zero hour contract is generally a contract between an employer and a worker where the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours and the worker is not obliged to accept any work offered. The benefits to employers include the ability to easily access staff in times of demand, there is no requirement to give the staff a certain amount of work and it can be a cheaper alternative to agency fees.

The benefits to workers include flexibility in that there is no obligation to accept work and the work on offer can increase their experience and skills.

However, there has been growing criticism over a period of time concerning some employees use of “exclusivity clauses” in zero hours contracts which prevents the worker from working for another employer. There is already criticism generally that zero hour contracts do not offer enough financial stability and security for workers.

As such, the government has brought into force certain provisions of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 which includes the ban on exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts. Some have argued that this change is not enough to tackle the problem and that the only thing that will make a real difference would be for employers to guarantee staff a minimum number of paid hours each week.

Here at Farleys solicitors our specialist employment law & HR team have a wealth of experience advising clients on all matters relating to contracts of employment. If you require any advice on zero hour contracts including the drafting of them, review of existing contracts or how they can be used to assist your business, contact us today on 0845 050 1958, alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.