27 May 2015
The provision contained in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, has finally come into force.
The ban on exclusivity clauses, passed under the Coalition government, will supposedly prevent employers from stopping their zero-hours employees holding jobs elsewhere.
Both parties in the Coalition capitalised on the ban in an effort to appear like they were tackling ZHC exploitation. Cameron said at the time; “In a Britain that everyone is proud to call home, people are employed, they are not used. Those exclusive zero-hours contracts that left people unable to build decent lives for themselves – we will scrap them.”
However in reality, as the IER has previously highlighted; exclusivity clauses are a red-herring. The real problems associated with ZHC have not been touched upon.
”Changing the law to make such clauses unenforceable is unnecessary…it will add little or nothing of value to law as exclusivity clauses in ZHCs are almost certainly unenforceable in any event.”-Re-regulating Zero Hours Contracts by Zoe Adams and Simon Deakin.
Steve Turner, Unite assistant general secretary, said: “Banning exclusivity clauses is a joke. It misses the key point that zero hours confer fear and misery of those forced into them – no security, no protection and little dignity.
“With millions now declared ‘self employed’, underemployed and insecure at work, we believe the scale of workplace insecurity is vastly underestimated by the Tory government and needs to be addressed. When business fails to create decent jobs, there are serious, deep social and economic consequences for our country.”
Wednesday 10 June 2015
Diskus Room, Unite the Union, London
Workplace Issues, our next event, will assess how workers’ rights are likely to fair under the new Tory regime.
For more information on zero-hours contracts Re-regulating Zero Hours Contracts is available now.