Exclusivity clauses in zero-hour contracts have been banned

Under section 153 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, the use of exclusivity clauses within a zero hours contract can no longer be enforced.

So what does this mean? It means that employers who utilise zero hours contracts can no longer prevent workers from:

  • Doing work or performing services for another party
  • Asking for consent before working for someone else

Workers should not suffer a detriment as a result of working or performing services for another party. This will even include working for direct competitors.

Workers who suffer a detriment in such circumstances should be able to make a claim to the employment tribunal where the tribunal could award compensation, make a declaration as to the contractual rights of the worker and even fine the employer.



When the basis of the contract means that an employee does not know how many hours they will be getting on a week by week basis, it seems almost absurd that they would not be able to make up the money with another job. This new provision will improve the financial security for many individuals, and may lead to a general reduction in the number of zero-hours contracts in the UK. This decision is a middle ground that falls short of the Government outright banning zero hours contracts – as Labour had suggested in their manifesto.

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