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New Legislation

Zero hours contracts | Guidance for employers

On 15 October 2015 the Department for Business Innovation & Skills published new guidance for employers on the use of zero hours contracts

The guidance is clear and concise and covers:

  • What are zero hours contracts?
  • Employment rights
  • Appropriate use
  • Inappropriate use
  • Alternatives
  • Best practice
  • Exclusivity clauses

Despite the recent criticisms in the press and in Parliament, the guidance does not seek to discourage employers from using zero hours contracts in suitable cases such as where work demands are irregular or where there is not a constant demand for staff. Inappropriate use includes where zero hours contracts are used as a permanent arrangement where it is not justifiable. The guide makes it clear that employees working under a zero hours contract still enjoy full employment law rights and should be treated fairly and within the law.

Exclusivity clauses

The guidance explains that under The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 employers are prohibited from inserting exclusivity clauses or terms in any zero hours contract. This means an employer cannot stop an individual from looking for work or accepting work from another employer.

More information

See here to read the Zero hours contracts: guidance for employers.

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