East Lancashire businesses to lose out if ban is given green light

A leading employment law expert has warned that a new ban on the ‘zero hours’ contract clause will affect hundreds of retail, hospitality and manufacturing businesses across East Lancashire if it is to go ahead.

Business Secretary, Vince Cable has said that as some"unscrupulous" firms had abused the flexibility offered by zero hour contracts called for a ban on the exclusivity clause following the recent Small Business Bill.

Exclusivity clauses prevent an individual from working for another employer, even when no work is guaranteed by their current employer. Such contracts mean that employers can call on a pool of staff when they need to and workers such as students, older people and other people looking to top up their income can find work that suits their personal circumstances.

The Government has said the use of exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts undermines choice and flexibility for the individuals concerned but an expert lawyer warns the ban could jeopardise business flexibility or employment opportunities.

Michael Shroot, partner at Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall Solicitors revealed: “In my experience zero hour contracts have usually been used where it is mutually beneficial for both parties, offering corresponding flexibility for employer and workers.

“Zero hours contracts have been crucial to boosting the jobs markets in certain sectors and they work as long as they are fair.

“If the ban on contracts binding workers to one employer is rushed through Government without the right guidelines and sensible codes of practice in place it could affect the job market flow.”

For further information on any aspect of employment law, contact Michael Shroot at michael.shroot@whnsolicitors.co.uk or call 0161 761 8087