Zero Hour Contracts

As we reported last month, the exclusivity terms in Zero Hour Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015 came into force as of 11th January 2016.  The Regulations provide that: –

  • Any dismissal of a zero hour contract employee would be automatically unfair if the reason for the dismissal is that he or she breached the contractual clause prohibiting him or her from working for an alternative employer.
  • It is unlawful to submit a zero hour worker to any detriment if they work for another employer in breach of any such clause.
  • There is no qualifying period of service requirement in order to be able to pursue an unfair dismissal claim.

This goes someway to address the abuse of zero hour contracts by employers who inserted an exclusivity clause into the contract prohibiting zero hour employees to work for other employers.

Although zero hour contracts are a useful tool for the catering and hospitality industry, they have been widely abused.  If you do have zero hour contract employees/workers it is important to review these and ensure that they are genuinely zero hour employees rather than employees that should be on a permanent contract.

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