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Increased Protection for Workers on Zero Hours Contracts

In May 2015, the Government acted to ban exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts.

However, recognising that further measures were necessary to prevent employers sidestepping the ban, further legislation has now been introduced to afford further protection to those working under such contracts.

Under the Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hours Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015, which came into force on 11 January 2016, dismissal of a zero hours contract employee is automatically unfair if the principal reason for it is that they acted in breach of a contractual clause prohibiting them from working for another employer. Unlike other unfair dismissal claims, there is no qualifying period necessary before a claim can be brought.

The Regulations also make it unlawful to subject a zero hours contract worker to a detriment for breaching an exclusivity clause.