With effect from today if employers subject a worker to a detriment or dismiss an employee because he or she has ignored an exclusivity clause in a zero-hours contract they could find themselves with an expensive claim, subject to the ACAS early conciliation rules.
The changes come into effect under the provisions of The Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hours Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015, which introduces the entitlement for workers to bring a claim for detriment; an employee will be entitled to bring a claim for automatic unfair dismissal where the reason given by the employer is breach of an exclusivity clause in a zero hours contract.
The changes follow a Government consultation which took place in March 2015 and criticism from organizations such as ACAS who felt that exclusivity clauses in these contracts undermined the relationship of trust between employer and employee. Some employers had sought to get around standard zero-hours contracts, which allowed individuals to work for more than one employer where additional hours of employment were needed other than that provided by the contract, by making them exclusive, preventing the individual from working for someone else.
Employees bringing an unfair dismissal on these grounds will not need to show they have the two year qualifying period of employment.
For further information, contact our employment rights team.