We reported back in May 2015 that exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts – which have the effect of stopping an employee working for anyone else – were rendered unlawful and unenforceable. There was talk prior to the general election of anti-avoidance measures being introduced but these have not materialised, until now.
From 11th January 2016, employees will have the right not to be dismissed or suffer a detriment for having ignored an exclusivity clause. The right not to suffer a detriment also extends to “workers”. These are “day 1” rights, in that the individual will not have to be employed for a minimum period in order to enforce them.
This may be significant for employers who rely on zero hours workers. If, for example, a zero hour employee becomes less flexible because of other work commitments, punishing or dismissing the employee for this could be costly. If you have exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts, there are now further incentives not to rely on them.