Exclusivity clauses in zero-hour contracts have been the
subject of much debate for some time, however as of 26 May 2015, exclusivity
clauses have been banned.
Vince Cable, the former Business Secretary, has won the battle to prevent
employers from locking zero-hour low paid staff into exclusive jobs. The
results of his efforts were revealed, when the legislation came into force.
Zero-hour contracts, a topical subject given the recent
election campaigns, are contracts in which the worker agrees to work
conditionally on the employer making work available. The fact that there is no guarantee
that work will be given to the worker, means that these contracts are generally
heavily in favour of the employer.
It was consequently seen as an unfair and unreasonable
hardship against workers that such contracts could include an exclusivity
clause which would prevent casual staff from working for another employer.
In Vince Cable’s 2014 public consultation he stated that the
Government’s aim was to achieve a market which is ‘flexible, effective and fair
for both business and individuals’. The Government’s policy is to ‘give
employers the confidence to hire and create new jobs, and to provide
individuals with a framework that allows them to not only find work, but to
find work that suits them and their individual circumstances’.
The announcement symbolises a small victory for workers, as
from now on, any provision in a zero-hours contract which prohibits a worker
from working under another contract or arrangement, or prohibits the worker
from doing so without the employer’s consent, is unenforceable against the
If you use zero-hour
contracts and haven’t done so already, we would recommend that you carry out a