Government to extend the scope of exclusivity ban

In contracts, Employment law, Equality, government, pay, workers on June 20, 2022 at 10:58 am

An exclusivity clause within a contract prevents a worker from being free to take other work or work for another employer whilst being on standby awaiting work.

Back in 2015, the government looked at restrictive practices used by some employers using zero-hour contracts. For a zero-hours contract “exclusivity clauses” are already banned and unenforceable.

The government has now announced that any exclusivity restrictions placed upon workers whose earnings are below or equivalent to the lower earnings limit (currently £123 per week) will also be banned. Clearly, there is scope for this band to be widened in the future. No date has yet been set for implementation however the legislation will also give workers protection from unfair dismissal and the right not to be subjected to detriment for failing to comply with an exclusivity clause. There is also a right to claim compensation.

Action point:

There isn’t yet a date for when the change will come into force but it is due in Parliament later in 2022. Employers can prepare by:

  • reviewing employment contracts and amending any exclusivity clauses to apply only to those earning above the LEL
  • Work out the weekly earnings for employees so that you are aware who the rules apply to
  • Update policies and procedures e.g. employers can still require staff to tell them that they have additional employment even if exclusivity cannot be enforced
  • Check total working hours – to comply with Working Time Regulations, those working more than 48 hours per week across all employment need to sign an opt-out agreement
  • Consider if a restrictive covenant is necessary e.g. employees who want to work for a competitor or if there is confidential/sensitive information at risk.

If you would like to know more about this topic contact Rob Bryan Associates – 01462 732444 /

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