Zero hours contracts

The long awaited protection for zero hour contract workers has finally been introduced.

From 11 January 2016, The Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hour Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015 provide that:-

  • any dismissal of a zero hour contract employee is automatically unfair, if the principal reason is that s/he breached a contractual clause prohibiting him/her from working for another employer;
  • no qualifying period is required to bring such an unfair dismissal claim; and
  • it is also unlawful to submit a zero hour worker (note: worker not employee) to detriments if they work for another employer in breach of a clause prohibiting them from doing so.


This piece of legislation was announced by the, what was then, coalition government prior to the election last year. Kate Fretten Head of our Employment Team explains, "Many employers who use zero contract hours have already removed any exclusivity clauses in readiness for this and we hope it is now unlikely that such clauses remain in place. If they do, then the employer is running a real risk of a successful claim to the employment tribunal now. Any employers requiring further advice on this issue should contact us."

Our Employment Team, based in Christchurch, also cover Bournemouth, Poole and the New Forest. For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Kate or a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.