Government to ban “exclusive” zero hours contracts » SMEInsider

Government to ban “exclusive” zero hours contracts

Zero hours contracts will no longer be able to prevent employees from signing up for alternative work, Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced.

Under the current rules, employers can use exclusivity clauses to prevent workers from seeking other employment – even when they are under no obligation to guarantee work or pay. Following a government consultation into zero hours contracts, in which 83% of the 36,000 respondents were in favour of ending the practice, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has opted to outlaw their use.

The ban aims to ensure a fairer deal for the 125,000 people in the UK who currently work on zero hours contracts, by giving them the opportunity to seek other sources of work. This, says the Business Secretary, will clamp down on exploitative employment practices whilst helping workers to boost their income.

Zero hours contracts have a place in today’s labour market. They offer valuable flexible working opportunities for students, older people and other people looking to top up their income and find work that suits their personal circumstances,” Cable said.

But it has become clear that some unscrupulous employers abuse the flexibility that these contracts offer to the detriment of their workers,” he added. “We are legislating to clamp down on abuses to ensure people get a fair deal.”