Ban on employment exclusivity clauses to be widened to help low paid

Ban on employment exclusivity clauses to be widened to help low paid

Ban on employment exclusivity clauses to be widened to help low paid

Posted: 21/06/2022

The government is to widen the ban on employment exclusivity clauses, which restrict staff from working for multiple employers.

Joanne Stronach Director and Head of Employment and HR provides an update.

In 2015, exclusivity clauses were banned for workers on zero hours contracts, where employers are not obliged to provide any minimum working hours and the worker is not obliged to accept any work offered. The change provided more workers with the option to take on additional work, with the number of people on zero hours contracts having a second job rising.

Now the ban is to be extended to contracts where the guaranteed weekly income is on or below the Lower Earnings Limit of £123 a week. The new reforms will ensure that workers in this group who have exclusivity clauses are able to top up their income with extra work if they choose.

The reforms are designed to give workers more flexibility over when and where they work to best suit their personal circumstances such as childcare or study, including the option of working multiple short-hour contracts.

It’s hoped the reforms will benefit businesses by widening the talent pool of job applicants to those who may have been prevented from applying for roles due to an exclusivity clause with another employer.

Business Minister Paul Scully said: “By extending the ban on exclusivity clauses, we are putting more control into the hands of the lowest paid, giving them the freedom to decide who they work for and how often, including the option to top up their pay packet if they wish.

“While not everyone will want a second job, the reforms will remove red tape that prevents those who want to do so – for example, gig economy workers, younger people, or those from disadvantaged backgrounds facing barriers to entering the labour market.

“By giving more workers the option to take on additional work on short hours contracts, the reforms could also help increase businesses’ confidence to create jobs with contracts which suit them and their current circumstances.”

Legislation for these reforms will be laid before Parliament later this year. We shall keep clients informed of developments.

For more information about the update in this article or any aspect of employment law please contact Joanne on 01228 516666 or click here to send her an email.