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Consultation launched on how to ban exclusivity clauses

The Government has launched a consultation on the upcoming ban on exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts.

Exclusivity clauses prevent people from working for other employers. The Government is banning the use of exclusivity clauses in contracts which do not guarantee any hours, commonly known as 'zero-hours contracts'.

The provision is part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, currently making its way through Parliament.

Closing loopholes

The issue up for discussion is how to close any loopholes that unscrupulous employers might use to get around the ban. For example, an employer could offer a contract guaranteeing just one hour of work.

The Government is also seeking opinions on the likelihood of employers wanting to sidestep the ban, how the problem should be dealt with, and what the consequences might be for employers found circumventing the ban.

It would also like to know whether to bring in legislation with the ban or wait for evidence of avoidance; and whether the wording of the legislation might have 'negative or unintended consequences'.

 The closing date for responses is 3 November 2014.

Acas publications and services

Acas has detailed information for employers and workers on Zero hours contracts, including a myth-busting page that sets the record straight on common areas of confusion.

Acas experts can visit your organisation and help you develop the most appropriate and effective terms and conditions of employment. See Contracts and hours: how Acas can help for details.

Practical training courses are also available on drawing up Contracts and terms and conditions and Employing People - A Practical Introduction.

For free, impartial advice on flexible working, call the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100 or consult Acas Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.

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We recommend that you explore further information and advice available on this website, particularly within our Advice A-Z guidance pages. If you have questions about workplace rights and rules visit Helpline Online.

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