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The Exclusivity Terms in Zero-Hours Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015 are now in force
The aim of the regulations is to try and stop employers using contractual provisions in zero-hours contracts that prohibit individuals from working for another employer.
If an employer now dismisses an employee working under a zero-hours contract because that employee has failed to comply with exclusivity provisions in their contract, that dismissal is automatically unfair, entitling the employee to seek compensation. This applies even where the employee does not have two years’ service.
The regulations also provide a right for a worker (not just an employee) not to suffer detriment for failing to adhere to the exclusivity provisions in their zero-hours contract.
In practice the regulations may be fairly easily circumvented – an employer may, for example, guarantee a small number of hours to avoid a contract being classified as a ‘zero-hours’ contract. Alternatively, the employer may simply remove exclusivity clauses from contracts but then adopt a practice of only offering work to those who are consistently available, effectively penalising those who work for other employers. Given these loopholes, it is questionable whether these new regulations will make any real difference to anyone other than the least sophisticated employers.
For further advice, contact our specialist employment team at Tozers solicitors in Exeter on 01392 207020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org