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[Closed] M3 - Exclusivity Clauses on Zero Hours Contracts
Leader of the Opposition, Ariadne "Ari" Suchet
I beg to move -
That this House calls on the Government to ban exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts, by rendering exclusivity clauses unenforceable and that workers are not bound by these clause, to allow employees to be able take these claims to an employment tribunal and that employer will be considered as unfair automatically under eyes of employment tribunals if an employer dismisses an employee due to breaching an exclusivity clause and that prohibits the employee from doing work or performing services under another contract or under any other arrangement without the employer’s consent, to ensure an employer can not subject an employee working under a zero hours contract to any detriment on the grounds that the worker did work or performed services under another contract or under any other arrangement and leave definition of detriment to the employment tribunals, to allow workers to file complaint to the employment tribunals within 12 months of events led to the complaint or in a manner that will be accepted as fair by an employment tribunal, to allow employment tribunals be able to order employers to pay compensation the tribunal considers just and equitable in all the circumstances.
For far too long employers have been abusing the zero hours contracts, which has been very problematic for workers across Britain. For too long, far too many workers on these contracts have been placed under such harsh conditions with no security at all. One of the, if not the worst practice that comes with these contracts are exclusivity clauses. These clauses prevent workers from seeking other employment options in different companies, if they are under an exclusivity clause for a zero hours contract, which is both against spirit of exclusivity clauses and spirit of circumstances that these clauses were originally allowed. Exclusivity clauses simply prevents workers from earning a wage enough to sustain their living. In most cases of abuse, you will be awarded hours that is suited for needs of the company where you gain very little to sustain your life and you will be prohibited from seeking extra work from other companies due to these exclusivity clauses. Today, the Labour Party seeks to fix this specific problems with the zero hours contracts and I hope the Government and other opposition parties can join me and support this change.
Shadow House of Commons Leader Ariadne "Ari" Suchet
Mr Speaker, time will be allocated for debate on this motion on this opposition day.
Sylviane Jaubert MP
MP for Cynon Valley
Formerly as The Rt Hon Ariadne "Ari" Suchet MP
Former Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party
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While there is no definition in law of a zero hours contract, that term is usually taken to mean a contract in which the employer does not guarantee the individual any work, and the individual is not obliged to accept any work offered to them. Under that definition, the latest estimates by the Office for National Statistics suggest that zero hours contracts cover 0.8% of total employment, the same level as they did in the year 2000.
Zero hours contracts have significant advantages to some, both employees and businesses. Employees derive significant flexibility from the arrangement, and most workers on zero hours contracts express satisfaction with them for precisely that reason. Furthermore, zero hours contracts provide a route into the labour market for people not in a position to take up a full-time contract. This particularly benefits students, who are able to use them to supplement their income whilst continuing with their studies by choosing when and if to accept work. Zero hours contracts help businesses to organise their staffing arrangements, especially in industries where demand can vary dramatically. They also allow businesses to expand rapidly at lower financial risk, boosting the economy and creating jobs.
Britain's economy demands labour market that is flexible, effective and fair, and the Government will always work to deliver that. Zero hours contracts are a useful tool in Britain's labour market. Exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts undermine that very flexibility and fairness. Locking workers into one employer even if no work is available is the direct antithesis of the advantages that zero hours contracts can provide and the type of labour market we should be encouraging. Fortunately, it is estimated that fewer than 1 in 10 zero hours contracts contains an exclusivity clause. Nonetheless, the Government recognises the difficulties that these clauses give to those individuals and the wider economy. We believe that, in this case, the balance between the needs of business and the needs of workers is not being met. Therefore, we shall heed the call of the motion and take the necessary steps to outlaw such exploitative provisions.
Sir Geoffrey Birch | Conservative Party
MP for Bexhill & Battle (2001-present)
Former MP for Northampton South (1983-1997)
Parliamentary experience: Novice (28)
Media experience: Novice (22)
Policy experience: Unknown (12)
Formerly: Deborah Carpenter, Conservative, MP for Hertford & Stortford, Former Chancellor of the Exchequer