The ban on exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts came into effect this week. For these purposes, a zero hours contract is where the worker agrees to perform work if work is available, but there is no certainty that any hours will be offered.
The effect of the new legislation is that any provision of a zero hours contract which prohibits the worker from working under any other arrangement, or prohibits the worker from doing so without their employer’s consent is now unenforceable. The Secretary of State has also been given the power to make further regulations to deal with anti-avoidance.
Draft regulations in relation to anti-avoidance are ready for consideration by Parliament. These regulations include a right for zero hours workers to bring an employment tribunal claim if they are subjected to a detriment as a result of working for another business. They also extend the ban on exclusivity clauses beyond purely zero hours contracts to workers who earn less than a specified amount per week, to seek to avoid employers simply circumventing the legislation by guaranteeing workers a very small number of hours. However, workers who earn £20 per hour or more would be excluded from this ban on exclusivity clauses. We await the passage of these draft regulations through parliament to see what anti-avoidance provisions are brought into force.