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Consultation on zero-hour contracts closed on 3 November

4th November, 2014

We have previously reported on the currently on going consultation into the government’s proposals on zero-hour contracts. The consultation was initiated after the government proposed to ban exclusivity clauses in zero-hour contracts and was particularly seeking to address potential loopholes available to employers to avoid the ban.

The consultation closed on 3 November 2014.

For some time now, there has been controversy over the use of zero-hour contracts which is likely to have weighed heavily on the government’s proposals to ban exclusivity clauses. An exclusivity clause prevents zero-hours workers from working for other employers, despite them having no guarantee of from the initial employer.

The proposed ban was however met with some negativity stating that employers will no doubt find ways to avoid the exclusivity clause ban. An example of this would be the creation and use of “one-hour contracts”.

Another key flaw in the government’s proposals is that employers may stop offering work they previously would have under zero-hour contracts altogether. It is clear that some individuals do benefit from zero-hour contracts and their complete removal from the workplace could be detrimental to work-life balances.

The consultation is also gathering views on potential penalties for those employers in breach of the new proposed regulations and remedies for those affected by a breach. It is implied that this could include financial penalties.

We eagerly await the outcome of the consultation and the subsequent amendments to the draft Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill 2014-2015.

For further information and advice in relation to zero-hour contracts, please contact Helen Watson on 01244 405565 or send an email to [email protected].

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