Zero Hours Contracts - Ban on Exclusivity Clauses

Following significant media coverage concerning zero hours contracts (contracts that do not guarantee hours of work) and their apparent abuse by some employers, the government launched a consultation in December 2013 focusing on the use of exclusivity clauses and the lack of transparency in zero hours arrangements.


On 25 June 2014, the government published its response to the consultation. Given the support of an overwhelming majority of respondents (82%), the government decided to ban exclusivity clauses, which the legislation defines as clauses which prohibit a worker from doing work or performing services under another contract or arrangement at all or without the employer’s consent. That ban comes into effect today – exclusivity clauses are now ineffective, in connection with existing zero hours contracts as well as those which are entered into from today.

Further regulations are awaited dealing with the anti-avoidance aspects – potential loopholes employers may use to avoid the ban.