The Government has announced plans recently to pass legislation changing the way exclusivity clauses in contracts work for some of the lowest paid workers.

What does this mean in practice? That for workers in these groups, employers can no longer insist that they work exclusively for them.

This legislation will be targeted particularly at those on what is popularly known as “zero hours contracts”, the correct legal term is casual terms of engagement, and those earning less than £123 per week.

In other words, if the employer can only offer very little work, or reserves the right to offer no work at all, then they cannot insist that the worker does not look elsewhere for work to supplement their earnings.

For most employers this will have little or no effect. But there will be some who have traditionally used zero hours contracts for key groups of their workforce to cope with operational peaks and troughs.

If this legislation goes through, employers may want to stop these types of workers from working at the same time for competitors. They may be forced to protect themselves by either offering better contracts, or more hours, taking them over the £123 per week.

It will be a little time before such legislation is passed, but those who rely on these types of labour had better start planning now, if they feel it will have a detrimental effect on their operations.




The guidance provided in this article is just that – guidance. Before taking any action, make sure that you know what you are doing, or call an expert for specific advice.