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CIPD: ‘Ban exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts’

18 March 2014

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Exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts should be banned where there is no compelling business reason for their use, the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) has claimed. 

Exclusivity clauses allow employers to ban workers from taking on other jobs, even where there is no certainty that the employee will be offered hours. 

The CIPD has said that the flexibility offered by zero hour contracts should benefit employers and employees equally. 

Recent research conducted by the CIPD has found that in many instances zero hours contracts provide useful flexibility for both employers and individuals engaged on these types of working arrangement. 

The research showed that zero hours workers are more likely to be satisfied with their work-life balance (65%) compared to all employees (58%), are less likely to feel under excessive pressure every day (8%) compared to all employees (13%) and have comparable job satisfaction (60% compared to 59% for all employees).

However it also found that a minority of zero hours workers (15%) say they are only sometimes allowed to work for another organisation when their primary employer has no work available and 9% say they are never able to work for another organisation in these circumstances.

Ben Willmott, head of public policy at CIPD, said: “Our research reveals that zero hours contracts can work well for both employers and individuals on these types of working arrangements, providing valuable workplace and labour market flexibility. 

“However, our research also flagged that bad practice does exist. Our consultation response sets out what CIPD believes should be done to ensure that zero hours workers don’t feel they are being exploited.” 

The statement has come in response to a government consultation into zero hours contracts, which came to a close this week. 

Research has found that a quarter of healthcare employers have used zero hours contracts.