Zero-hours employment contracts


The Government has announced plans to ban exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts.

This follows its consultation into zero hours contracts, which was launched in December 2013, and closed in March 2014.  In future, it is the Government's intention that employees on zero hours contracts will have the freedom to find work with more than one employer.  

Latest consultation

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has consulted on a range of potential actions that the Government could take to tackle potential avoidance of the proposed exclusivity ban in zero hours contracts and possible routes of redress for the individual.

NHS Employers has responded to the latest consultation on behalf of employers on 29 October 2014.  The key points in our response were:

  • Employers recognise that exclusivity clauses were not helpful in creating confidence and trust in the employment relationship.  This is something which employers in the NHS regard as essential to ensuring that there is a positive working environment for all staff which supports strong staff engagement, development and wellbeing.
  • Employers in the NHS would support a code of practice, which supported fair treatment and the use of such contracts only in appropriate circumstances.
  • Employers would not welcome any action beyond a ban on exclusivity clauses, which could curtail the scope employers need to design innovative contracts, that are transparent and meet the needs of both employers and individuals.

Find out more

More information is on the website of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).  

The Government's consultation closed on 3 November 2014.  We will keep you informed of developments through these news pages and in our NHS Workforce Bulletin

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