The government’s desire to clamp down on zero hours contracts is moving ahead, with the legislation banning exclusivity clauses (which appears in the SBEEB referred to above) having received royal assent. So, going forward, while employers will still be able to use zero hours contracts, the worker concerned cannot be prevented from working for other employers.

There is some concern that, even with a ban on exclu- sivity clauses, unscrupulous employers will come up with ways to avoid the ban. For example, offering workers a token minimum number of guaranteed  hours, possibly as low as one hour per week, so that they are not considered to be on a zero hours contract. However, in an effort to prevent this, the Government has published proposed anti-avoidance measures.  These new rules would cover contracts that do not guarantee a worker at least a specified minimum income and would seek to provide the same protections in respect of exclusivity clauses to workers under those type of contracts as to pure zero hour contract workers.