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Zero hour exclusivity clauses banned

New rules have come into force banning exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts.

The reform, contained in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, took effect on 26 May. It stops businesses preventing staff employed on zero hour contracts from working for other employers.

Business, Innovation and Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “Exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts prevent people from boosting their income when they have no guarantee of work.

“Banning these clauses will give working people the freedom to take other work opportunities and more control over their work hours and income. It brings financial security one step closer for lots of families.”

The move was also supported by the CBI, whose director for employment and skills, Neil Carberry, said: “Banning exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts is a proportionate response to tackling examples of poor practice.”

But Steve Turner, assistant general secretary of Unite, dismissed the reform as a “token measure”, adding: “It misses the key point that zero hours confer fear and misery of those forced into them – no security, no protection and little dignity.”