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Extra Protection for Zero Hour Contract Workers

13th January, 2016

Following the ban of exclusivity clauses in zero hour contracts in May 2015, The Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hour Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015 came into force yesterday, providing additional protection for zero hour contract workers. The Regulations provide an additional deterrent for employers who may have considered ignoring the ban by, for example, reducing the hours offered to zero hour contract workers, who chose to perform work elsewhere.

Individuals will now have the right to make a complaint to an employment tribunal if they suffer a detriment or are unfairly dismissed as a result of doing work under another contract or arrangement and potentially receive compensation if their complaint is upheld.

The key elements of the regulations include:

• Dismissal of a zero hour contract worker is automatically unfair, if the principal reason for the dismissal is that they breached a clause prohibiting them from working for another employer;
• No qualifying period of employment is required to bring the claim for unfair dismissal; and
• Zero hour contract workers also have a right not to be subjected to detriment as a result of breach of an exclusivity clause.

If your business uses zero hour contracts, it would be advisable to complete a review of contracts and consider removing any exclusivity clauses and certainly ensure they are not relied upon. If you have any queries regarding compliance with the new Regulations or if you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Helen Watson on 01244 405565 or send an email to [email protected]

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