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Employees on zero hours contracts will have the freedom to find work with more than one employer after Business Secretary Vince Cable announced plans to ban exclusivity clauses.

“Exclusivity clauses prevent an individual from working for another employer, even when no work is guaranteed. The use of exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts undermines choice and flexibility for the individuals concerned.”

The ban will impact the 125,000 zero hours contract workers estimated to be tied to an exclusivity clause, is part of a bid to clamp down on abuses in the workplace by less scrupulous employers. It will allow workers to look for additional work to boost their income.

This new regulation follows a government consultation into zero hours contracts.  The Business Secretary also announced that the government will:

  1. consult further on how to prevent rogue employers evading the exclusivity ban, for example through offering 1 hour fixed contracts
  2. work with business representatives and unions to develop a code of practice on the fair use of zero hours contracts by the end of the year (2014)
  3. work with stakeholders to review existing guidance and improve information available to employees and employers on using these contracts

The ban will be part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, which is being introduced to Parliament today (25 June 2014).

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