New policy bans exclusivity clauses in zero hour contracts

New rules come in force today with goal to create flexible labour market for individuals and businesses

From today new rules banning exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts will come into effect, stopping companies from preventing hourly staff working for another employer.

Former business secretary Vince Cable championed the new provisions under the last government, which were passed into law under the small business enterprise and employment bill today.

The policy is part of the government’s commitment to achieving a labour market that is “flexible, effective and fair for businesses and employees” – helping companies create new jobs and individuals find work that suits their individual circumstances.

The rules were introduced in response to evidence that some zero hour contracts are open to exploitation, although most are used responsibly across a range of sectors.

Nick Boles (pictured), minister of state for the department of business, commented: “Exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts prevent people from boosting their income when they have no guarantee of work.

“Banning these clauses will give working people the freedom to take other work opportunities and more control over their work hours and income. It brings financial security one step closer for lots of families.”

Neil Carberry, director of employment and skills at the Confederation of British Industry called the law “a proportionate response to tackling examples of poor practice” – but warned that further regulation must not damage the labour market.

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