Companies Should Address IP Provisions And Restrictive Covenants
UK employers using zero-hour contracts should use the introduction of a ban on exclusivity clauses as an opportunity to update their confidentially provisions and restrictive covenants, says a leading employment lawyer.
The new law, which received Royal Assent in March 2015, comes into force today.
The new provisions were passed into law under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill and prevent employers seeking to prevent employees on zero hours contracts working for another company at the same time.
Nick Boles, the Minister from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, said:
“Banning these clauses will give working people the freedom to take other work opportunities and more control over their work hours and income. It brings financial security one step closer for lots of families.”
Expert Opinion“It is difficult to know at this stage how much of a difference these new rules will make. Employers can still include clauses requiring workers on such contracts to be available for work if required, which may have a similar impact to an exclusivity clause.
“Employers do however need to check the terms of any zero-hours contracts they are using and if they contain exclusivity clauses, they need to be removed.
“Employers may as a result of these new laws find that that they are at risk of an employee working for a competitor. If this is the case, they should take action by either putting them on a different type of contract, or beefing up the confidentiality and IP provisions and restrictive covenants.”
Kirsty Ayre - Partner