There were big headlines in May last year when exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts became unenforceable. These clauses prevent individuals on zero hours contracts from working for another employer - requiring them instead to work "exclusively" for that particular organisation. While the ban on such clauses was long overdue, the issue was that until today, employers weren't legally prevented from subjecting such staff to a detriment for acting in breach of an exclusivity clause! This severely limited the practical impact of the ban.
The new regulations, which were implemented today, mean that the dismissal of an employee for breaching an exclusivity clause will be automatically unfair. It will also be unlawful to subject a worker to a detriment for such a breach. Finally, therefore, the restriction now has real weight behind it.
Although exclusivity clauses have been unenforceable since May 2015, until now employers could punish individuals engaged under a zero hours contract who work elsewhere, for example by failing to offer them further work, as there was no penalty for avoiding the ban.