Zero hours overhaul confirmed in new SME Bill » SMEInsider

Zero hours overhaul confirmed in new SME Bill

After months of debate and consultation, the government has confirmed that it will ban exclusivity clauses from all zero hours contracts and will take further measures to stop “bad employers” from finding loopholes, it was announced today.

The new rules were outlined in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, which aims to help small businesses to grow and thrive whilst cutting “red tape” by reducing cumbersome government interventions. Highlights for SMEs include assistance in securing export footholds and public procurement contracts, whilst a number of features are geared towards protecting fair pay for workers. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills says that, when it comes to fair use of zero hours contracts, it will continue to work with unions, business representatives and all stakeholders to refine guidance and develop a clear code of practice.

Speaking of zero hours contracts last week, Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Last December, I launched a consultation into this issue. Following overwhelming evidence we are now banning the use of exclusivity in zero hours contracts and committing to increase the availability of information for employees on these contracts. We will also work with unions and business to develop a best practice code of conduct aimed at employers who wish to use zero hours contracts as part of their workforce.”