Legislation preventing employers from using exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts came into force on 26 May 2015. The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 makes clauses in contracts of employment that prohibit a worker on zero hours contracts from carrying out work for another employer unenforceable.

A zero hours contract is a contract between an employer and a worker where:

  • the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours, and
  • the worker may not obliged to accept any work offered.

Zero hours contracts are increasingly used by employers to provide a flexible workforce to meet a temporary or changeable need for staff.

Exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts prevent workers from working for when they have no guarantee of work.

Further provisions to tackle methods for employers to circumvent the ban on exclusivity clauses are expected.