Posted by Mark Emery, Partner
Do you have employees on zero hours contracts?
New regulations have come into force which ban “exclusivity” clauses for zero hours employees. This means that some clauses, if you have them, in zero hours contracts are banned, and cannot be enforced.
These clauses are:
- stopping employees working for anyone else (whether under a contract or not), or
- requiring the permission or consent of the employer to work for anyone else.
The Regulations also say that an employee may complain to an employment tribunal if they are subjected to any ‘detriment’ as a consequence of their working for another. A detriment could include failing to rehire or offering less work under the zero hours contract.
How will this work in practice?
The Regulations don’t ban clauses which say ‘you can’t turn down work’. What if a zero hours employee does turn down work because they have other work or prior commitments? In my view, failing to offer further work because employees have turned down work in the past is likely to lead to an argument that this clause is effectively an exclusivity clause in another name.
It’s therefore important to make sure that employees who turn down work under a zero hours contract are not treated in any way less favourably as a consequence.
If you would like to discuss issues around employees on zero hours contracts, or any other employment law matter, please get in touch with our specialist Employment & HR team.
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