Rights for zero hour contract employees and workers

  • January 12, 2016
  • By Hunters Law

The Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hours Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015 has come into force on 11 January 2016.

A zero hours contract is a contract under which an employee or worker undertakes to perform work as and when required by an employer but has no certainty of work being made available and is only paid for work actually carried out.

The Regulations give zero hours employees the right not to be dismissed and zero hours employees and workers the right not to be subjected to any detriment for failing to comply with an exclusivity clause in a zero hours contract. If the principal reason for dismissing an employee under a zero hours contract is that the employee has breached a contractual clause prohibiting him/her from working for another employer, the dismissal will be automatically unfair. There is no qualifying period in which to bring an unfair dismissal claim.

Exclusivity agreements in zero hours contracts are already unenforceable, following amendments to the Employment Rights Act 1996 brought in by the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. The latest Regulations, however, give teeth to the legislation by providing individuals with a means of redress if an employer tries to deny them the right to work for another employer during the term of their contract.

For queries in relation to employment matters, please contact the partner at Hunters having responsibility for your legal matters, or (for new enquiries) please contact a member of our Business Services team.

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