Regulations made extending ban on exclusivity clauses in employment contracts to low-income workers


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On 7 November the Exclusivity Terms for Zero Hours Workers (Unenforceability and Redress) Regulations 2022 were made. The Regulations extend the ban on exclusivity clauses in employment contracts to low-income workers earning no more than the lower earnings limit.  Since May 2015, exclusivity terms have been unenforceable in zero hours contracts. The Regulations will come into force on 5 December.

The Regulations make unenforceable exclusivity terms in an employment contract or other worker's contract which is not a zero hours contract and entitles the worker to be paid net average weekly wages that don't exceed the lower earnings limit (currently £123 a week). Exclusivity terms are defined as any contractual term which prohibits a worker from doing work or performing services under another contract or arrangement, or which prohibits a worker from doing so without their employer's consent.

It will be automatically unfair to dismiss an employee if the reason or principal reason for the dismissal is that the employee breached an exclusivity term, and there is no qualifying period of employment to bring this claim. Workers will also be protected from detriment if they breach an exclusivity term in their contract.

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