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A ban on exclusivity clauses in zero hour contracts

During the election each major party had some pledge in respect of ‘zero hour contracts’, and it seemed that there was a general consensus that these types of contracts had to be scrutinised and legislative changes needed to be made.

The long awaited ban on exclusivity clauses finally came into force on 26 May 2015. This will mean the employers will no longer be able to restrict an employee’s ability to work for a competitor, in circumstances where their contract does not guarantee work i.e. is a “zero hour contract”

The legislation basis for the ban is contained within the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (SBEEA 2015) which also contains measures to increase the maximum penalty for breach of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) which is now £20,000 in respect of each underpaid worker rather than on a per employer notice basis.


Employers, should continue to use ‘zero hour contracts’ with caution as the government’s stance is quite clear; they cannot be used to avoid employees gaining employment rights nor can they unfairly restrict a workers right to earn a sustainable living salary.

If you are currently an employer using ‘zero hour contracts’ and want a free legal audit of the written document please do not hesitate to contact me on 0113 350 4030 or samira.cakali@scesolicitors.co.uk.

Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here. 

Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

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