Guidance on zero hours contracts
Zero hours contracts are usually taken to be contracts under which an employer is under no obligation to provide an employee or worker with work.
The department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has issued guidance on zero hours contracts, aimed at employers. The guidance (which does not have any statutory effect) sets out examples of what it describes as the appropriate and inappropriate use of zero hours contracts. Appropriate uses include; business start-ups, seasonal work, special events or covering unexpected sickness. Inappropriate use includes zero hours contracts being used as a substitute for good business planning and using them on a permanent basis.
The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 rendered exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts unenforceable from May this year. These are clauses that prevent workers from carrying out work under another contract of employment or that prevents them from doing so without permission. Also this month, the government published the draft Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hours Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015 which, once enacted, will provide a right for workers under zero hours contracts not to be dismissed or subjected to a detriment as a result of any act carried out by their employer resulting from the worker’s failure to adhere to an exclusivity clause.
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