New rules banning exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts come into effect today, stopping employers from preventing hourly staff from working for another employer.
The new provisions were first introduced under the last government, and championed by former business secretary Vince Cable. They were passed into law under the small business, enterprise and employment bill, which comes into force today.
Nick Boles, minister of state for the department of business, innovation and skills said yesterday that the current government nevertheless welcomes the measures.
“Exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts prevent people from boosting their income when they have no guarantee of work,” Boles said. “Banning these clauses will give working people the freedom to take other work opportunities and more control over their work hours and income. It brings financial security one step closer for lots of families.”
Neil Carberry, director of employment and skills at the Confederation of British Industry, also praised the law, calling it “a proportionate response to tackling examples of poor practice”.
But he also cautioned that further regulation must not damage the flexible labour market.