Home Legal opinion Zero Hour Contracts - New Rules

Zero Hour Contracts – New Rules

Exclusivity terms unenforceable in zero hours comes into force under s 164(1). This section inserts the Employment Rights Act 1996, Pt 2A, which renders unenforceable any exclusivity term (see s 27A(3)) in a “zero hours contract” (see s 27A(1)) and provides power to the Secretary of State to make further provision in relation to “zero hours workers” (see s 27B(2)) in regulations.

At present, an individual subject to exclusivity terms in their zero-hours contract cannot seek work elsewhere, regardless of whether the employer offers only occasional, minimal, or even no hours of work but in my experience not many zero hour contracts contain this clause fro the good reason that no one in their right mind would sign up to them. It is possible that in some areas of low employment the employers hold all of the cards and can engage workers in these onerous terms but surely these arrangements would be few and far between.

Zero hour contracts are not only flawed because the worker enjoys ongoing requirement to accept offers of work and no consequences but the on the flip-side the employer has a worker who does not have to accept the offer of work. No wonder then that this contractual white elephant is in danger of extinction.

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