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Zero Hour contracts

Zero hour contracts are a hot topic in employment. They have received quite some criticism for creating uncertainty for employees who have no guarantee as to what hours, if any, that they will be required to work for their employer.  

The government has launched a consultation about zero hour contracts and potential loopholes employers may use to avoid the proposed exclusivity ban.    There are proposals to prevent employers who have staff under zero hour contracts from preventing them for working for other employers.   Currently, some employers are restricting employees from working for other employers and not providing them any work  under zero hour contracts.   It appears reasonable on the face of it, that if an employee is concerned about not receiving any work from one employer, that it should be free and able to accept employment from another.   
 
Paul Hatton comments “the ban on exclusivity will go some way to rebalancing the relationship between the employer and employee where a zero hour contract is in place.  The government consultation is seeking feed back on the proposed ban and  ways to close the potential loopholes employers may use to avoid such a ban, such as offering contracts guaranteeing just one hour of work.    It is also concerned  whether zero hour employees who choose to work for other employers will be offered less work than their fellow zero hour employees who do not work for other employers”.
 
Paul adds “As thing stand, zero hour contacts are open for abuse and it is positive that the government is taking steps to balance the situation and to protect potentially vunlerable employees.   The introduction of new rules will also give employers greater certainty as to what they can and cannot do going forward”.
 
If you have any queries about zero hour contracts, please do not hesitate to contact our employment team on 01942 673431.