Zero Hours Contract Restrictions In Force: Employment Law Update

Zero Hours Contract Restrictions In Force: Employment Law Update

Employers are no longer able to restrict employees with zero hours contracts from working elsewhere.

New provisions have come into force, part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, which prevent employers using exclusivity clauses within zero hours contracts.

The provisions also give the Government more power to prevent employers from restricting employees working under a zero hours contract from taking-on other work.

Receiving Royal Assent on 26 March 2015, these provisions came into force on 26 May 2015.

What Is A Zero Hours Contract?

A zero hours contract is a contract of employment between an employer and a worker with no minimum hours.

In most cases zero hours contracts give workers employment status and the same employment rights as any other employee. However, they may have clauses in their contracts which affect the right to accrue overtime.

Employment Law Update

The Employment Lawyers Association reported that Section 27A of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 provides that any “provision of a zero hours contract which prohibits the worker from doing work or performing services under another contract or under any other arrangement, or prohibits him or her from doing so without the employer’s consent, is unenforceable against the worker”.

The act also brought other employment measures into force, including an increase in the maximum financial penalty for underpayment of the national minimum wage. This was increased to £20,000 per employee.

Our Employment Solicitors

Else have an award-winning Employment Law department that specialise in contracts of employment, settlement agreements, and representing both employers and employees at employment tribunal.

If you have employees that are on zero hours contracts, our employment solicitors can advise you to ensure that all of your employment contracts are in line with the most recent legislative changes to limit your risk.

Conversely, if you are an employee with a zero hours contract and you feel that you have been under-paid or mistreated by your employer; we can represent your best interests and ensure that you get a fair deal.

For more guidance regarding zero hours contracts please contact our employment solicitors on 01283 526200 or email

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