Ban on exclusivity clauses for low-income workers to be brought in


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The government has responded to the consultation it launched on 4 December 2020 on measures to extend the exclusivity ban to cover contracts where workers' guaranteed weekly income is on or below the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL), i.e. £123 a week or less. 

It has decided to extend the ban on exclusivity clauses which means that around 1.5 million workers will be able to top up their income with extra work for other employers if they choose.

In 2015 the use of exclusivity in employment contracts was banned in zero-hours contracts. At the same time as the consultation into the ban was being carried out, the government consulted on whether the ban should be extended to the contracts of other low-income workers but decided that it should not. The issue was revisited in response to the impact of the pandemic on low-income workers.

The government will extend the right not to be unfairly dismissed or subjected to a detriment for failing to comply with an exclusivity clause to those earning below or equivalent to the LEL. It will also extend the tribunal's power to award compensation where an employer unfairly dismisses or subjects an employee to a detriment in these circumstances. It will bring legislation forward to implement this "in due course".

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