Ban on Zero Hour Contracts that Prevent you Working Elsewhere


Vince Cable has banned what are known as 'exclusivity clauses' in zero hours contracts.

Equality for employment contracts

Exclusivity Clauses and the Poverty Line

Before the law change, if you were employed under a zero hour contract containing one, you weren't allowed to be employed by anyone else, leaving you at the mercy of your employer. You’d wait for that ever important phone call providing work, which may never come. Where does this leave you?

The Poverty Commission recently called for the banning of zero hours contracts, and trade unions echo this sentiment. This is because if you're left with little to no work for even a short amount of time, you can find yourself slipping into financial difficulties.

What More can be Done?

General Secretary of the TUC, Frances O'Grady, commented: "The ban is welcome news but it's not nearly enough to really tackle the problem. A lack of certainty is the real issue."

Trade union proposals would essentially see zero hours contracts as a thing of the past. They're calling for a guaranteed amount of hours. This, in conjunction with Vince Cable's proposals, would lead to many workers getting sufficient work, whilst also still offering employers a degree of flexibility.

Chuka Umunna, Labours shadow business secretary, said the root of the problem was the contracts becoming widely accepted as normal.

A solicitor in the Employment Law team at Simpson Millar LLP commented: "If an employer believes that every other boss on the labour market will be offering zero hours contracts, they will be likely to think that they can get away with it also. The more acceptable zero hours contracts become, the less competitive the labour market gets, giving workers a raw deal."

"While these contracts may provide a few workers with additional flexibility, they don't necessarily have to offer any opportunity to earn at all, and are no substitute for permanent jobs which pay a living wage."

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