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Consultation response - Banning exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts

Consultation on Tackling Avoidance from Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Based on evidence from bureaux, CAS has consistently raised concerns over misuse of zero hours contracts by employers. The UK Government proposes to ban exclusivity clause in zero hours contracts as part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, and consulted on how avoidance of the ban could be tackled.

CAS welcomes the proposed ban on exclusivity clauses, but recommends ways the Government could go further to tackle misuse which would not be fully addressed by the ban. These include:

  • Give workers on a zero hours contract a statutory ‘right to request’ a contract that guarantees hours, without suffering dismissal or detriment.
  • Legislate to ensure that where mutuality of obligation for the employee to undertake work provided by the employer is present, an individual is classed as an employee rather than a worker even if their contract states zero hours
  • Extend protection from unfair dismissal to workers as well as employees
  • Extend full rights to parental leave and pay to workers as well as employees

Additionally, CAS highlighted ways in which employers may seek to avoid the ban on exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts, and set out our preferred options for tackling avoidance.

Rob Gowans
Publication date
November 2014
Publication type
Number of pages