***IMPORTANT CHANGES FROM 26th MAY 2015***
ZERO HOURS CONTRACTS
The ban on exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts has come into force as of 26th May 2015.
This means that provisions contained in zero hours contracts which prohibit the worker from:-
- doing work or performing services under another contract or under any other arrangement; or
- doing so without the employer’s consent
will no longer be enforceable against the worker.
However, the Government has not yet enacted any anti-avoidance measures, meaning that as things currently stand a zero hours worker will have no recourse if, for example, their employer decides not to offer them any further shifts as a result of them working elsewhere. The Government has confirmed that it will be introducing anti-avoidance measures but it is not currently clear when these will be in force. As things stand, the so called “ban” is a bit of a non event.
On the other hand…
NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE
The penalty for a breach of national minimum wage laws has increased as of 26th May 2015.
The maximum £20,000 fine now applies in respect of each worker who has not been paid the national minimum wage.
Previously the maximum applied in respect of each notice of underpayment. This could cover a number of workers.
It will be interesting to see if the Government imposes a similarly heavy fine in relation to zero hours contracts.