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Government to Extend Ban on Exclusivity Clauses in Contracts of Employment

Time Published 23 May 2022

In 2015 the government made exclusivity clauses unenforceable for workers with zero hours contracts. They have now proposed to extend the ban on such clauses for workers on less than the lower earnings limit, which is currently £123 per week. This would affect 1.5 million workers they estimate who work less than 13 hours on the minimum wage.

This move of course also affects a number of people in this sector who work fewer hours for higher pay – in some cases only slightly more.  SLCC responded to this consultation last year welcoming any such proposal and to extend it to all staff. The model contract, as it is presently worded, says “you shall not undertake other employment without the council’s written consent. Such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld.” This clause may well be ruled unenforceable by this move.

The government is due to put this proposal before Parliament later in the year. It is notable, however, that the long proposed Bill to give employees more rights, such as the right to request flexible working from day one did not appear in the Queen’s speech and there was an absence of anything on employment rights.

 

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