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MILSLogo2There has been controversy surrounding zero hour contracts for some time. Whilst it has been anticipated and expected, some real protection has now been introduced for zero hour contract workers.

The Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hour Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015 came into force from 11 January 2016 and provide that:-

  • any dismissal of a zero hour contract employee is automatically unfair, if the principal reason is that s/he breached a contractual clause prohibiting him/her from working for another employer
  • no qualifying period is required to bring such an unfair dismissal claim; and,
  • it is also unlawful to submit a zero hour worker (note: worker not employee) to detriments if they work for another employer in breach of a clause prohibiting them from doing so.

As a result of these regulations extra care will need to be taken when managing any employee or worker on a zero hours contract. You will need to be very careful not to do anything which might constitute subjecting any employee or worker engaged under a zero hour contract to a detriment on the basis that they work for another employer as they will benefit from these protections from the start of their relationship with you.

Furthermore, if you are considering terminating the employment of any employee or worker who is engaged under a zero hour contract, you will need to ensure that such action is not being taken because they have worked for another employer.

Should you be considering taking action against an employee or worker on a zero hours contract we strongly advise that you contact us to seek further advice.

Andrew Macmillan, Solicitor, Motor Industry Legal Services

Posted by Sue Robinson on 15/01/2016