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Zero hours contracts – tipping the balance

Posted on Dec 18, 2015 in All posts

In July we wrote about the first attempt by the government to tackle the abuse of zero hours contracts – the introduction of a ban on enforcing terms preventing a zero hours worker from working elsewhere.

As we commented, the absence of anti-avoidance measures meant that this ban would have very little effect in practice.   Final regulations have now been made which will come into force on 11 January 2016 – protecting employees against dismissal and workers against being subjected to a detriment for failure to comply with an exclusivity clause.

In the meantime, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills has published guidance for employers on zero hours contracts, highlighting examples where zero hours contracts may be appropriate as well as providing alternatives to relying on zero hours contracts.   It will be interesting to see how many employers agree with the assessment of BIS that, “Zero hours contracts are rarely appropriate to run the core business …”.