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Change in Legislation for Zero Hours Contracts

22nd December 2015

Employers are warned that not only are the exclusivity clauses in their employees zero hour contracts unenforceable following the May 2015 change in legislation, but now if the employee suffers a detriment or is dismissed on this ground they can now pursue a potentially expensive claim.

This change takes effect from 11 January 2016 following the Exclusivity in Zero Hours Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015. The most important change is that employees pursuing a claim on these grounds will not need to show that they have the two year qualifying period of employment.

The general essence of a zero hours contract is where an employer is not obliged to offer, and the individual is not obliged to undertake, any work in any particular week. There is no guarantee of hours, hence the term ‘zero hours’. This gives the employer the flexibility to respond to changing market conditions.

With this change in legislation, it is important that employers and employees have an open channel of communication to manage one another’s expectations, especially in respect of working or providing services to another company. BHP can also review employer’s employment structures to advise on your particular circumstances.

If you require advice on the above, please do not hesitate to contact our BHP offices in Newcastle, Darlington, Durham or Stockton to discuss further.