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Update: Zero hours contracts

The Government has now responded to its consultation on the use of zero hours contracts. Whilst accepting in part the usefulness of the flexibility that these contracts can give both employer and employee, the Government proposes to ban the use of exclusivity clauses which prevent the employee from working for another Company even when they are not being offered any work from their employer.  The Government also proposes to educate employees about their rights whilst advising employers about the best practice to adopt when using these contracts.

Job done? No! The next round of consultation will focus on how to prevent employers evading the exclusivity by, for example, offering a one hour fixed contract. There is also much work to be done in consulting with businesses and unions to develop a Code of Practice, which is not scheduled to be completed until the end of the year.

This topic will remain controversial, not least because many employees find them a useful means of fitting in earning some money around their other commitments.

For more information or advice, Amanda Finn can be reached at