chester

Chester 01244 405 555

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Foregate Street Chester
Cheshire CH1 1HG
DX: 19990 Chester

shrewsbury

Shrewsbury 01743 443043

Lakeside House
Oxon Business Park
Shrewsbury SY3 5HJ
DX: 148563 Shrewsbury 14

Greater Manchester 0333 241 6886

Kennedy House,
31 Stamford St,
Altrincham WA14 1ES

30th January, 2014

Zero Hour Contracts – Government Consultation


We have previously reported on the increasing use of zero-hour contracts and the many concerns raised in relation to the purported lack of fairness to employees on such contracts. The Government has therefore now published a consultation on the use of zero-hour contracts.

Although it was expected by some, the Government has not proposed an outright ban on the contracts but has focussed more towards options such as banning exclusivity clauses contained in some zero-hour contracts. An exclusivity clause prevents the employee from working for additional employers even though they have no guarantee of work through their initial contract.

The Government says that it remains open to alternative proposals in the consultation which will run until March 2014.

The Government further invites suggestions on the proposals of issuing guidance on the use of exclusivity clauses, implementing an employer-led Code of Practice on the fair use of exclusivity clauses and relying on common law to enable individuals to challenge exclusivity clauses which are unfair.

The initial consultation has also found that many people, including those currently on zero-hour contracts, are unaware of their employment rights or the consequences of the contract. The Government therefore welcomes views on ways to improve the information available to individuals, the production of model clauses for zero-hour contracts and the implementation of a general Code of Practice to provide guidance on the use of zero-hour contracts.

We will await the Government response to the consultation.

For further information and advice on the use of zero-hour contracts, please contact Claire Brook on 01244 405575 or send an email to [email protected].



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