29 May 2015 #Employment
Provisions in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (passed by the Coalition Government) that make exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts unenforceable came into force this week. Also now in force is the increase in the maximum financial penalty for underpayment of the national minimum wage to £20,000 per worker.
A new S.27A ERA provides that any provision of a zero-hours contract which prohibits the worker from doing work or performing services under another contract or under any other arrangement, or prohibits him or her from doing so without the employer’s consent, is unenforceable against the worker.
A new S.27B ERA creates a power for the government to make further provision to prevent zero-hours workers being restricted in their ability to work for other employers. When the Coalition Government published its response to the consultation on the exclusivity ban in March 2015 it promised that it would introduce secondary legislation to create a new protection from detriment for zero-hours contract workers who take jobs under other contracts, and establish a minimum income level below which exclusivity clauses will be unenforceable. However, no such legislation has yet been brought into force.