2013 saw much media interest in the subject of zero hours employment contracts. It was revealed that a number of large UK employers such as Sports Direct were using them to maximise the flexibility of their workforces. Zero hours contracts do not provide any guarantee of work, allowing employers to increase and decrease hours as required by the demands of the their business. It has been estimated by some sources that up to 1 million people are employed on these contracts across the UK.
The Business Secretary Vince Cable ruled out a ban on Zero Hour contracts, but has now launched a 12 week consultation ending on 13 March 2014 inviting representations from interested parties. Of particular interest is whether companies should be allowed to insist on exclusivity – preventing employees working elsewhere even though there is no guarantee of work. A common reason quoted to support exclusivity is to protect the confidential information of the employer.
If you would like to speak to an expert employment solicitor about any issues surrounding the use of Zero Hours contracts, or would simply like to know more, please contact us today.
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