February 19, 2016

Do you have employees on zero hours contracts?

Zero hours contracts

These clauses are:

  • stopping employees working for anyone else (whether under a contract or not), or
  • requiring the permission or consent of the employer to work for anyone else.

The Regulations also say that an employee may complain to an employment tribunal if they are subjected to any 'detriment' as a consequence of their working for another. A detriment could include failing to rehire or offering less work under the zero hours contract.

How will this work in practice?

The Regulations don't ban clauses which say 'you can’t turn down work'. What if a zero hours employee does turn down work because they have other work or prior commitments? In my view, failing to offer further work because employees have turned down work in the past is likely to lead to an argument that this clause is effectively an exclusivity clause in another name.

It’s therefore important to make sure that employees who turn down work under a zero hours contract are not treated in any way less favourably as a consequence.

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