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Government to act on zero-hours exclusivity clauses

Companies which use zero-hours contracts but then prevent employees from working elsewhere will face a Government clampdown, the Business Secretary has announced. Vince Cable intends to ban exclusivity clauses, which tie people to one employer.

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Govt clamps down on 'exclusivity clause' in zero-hours

The Business Secretary has hit out at "unscrupulous employers" who abuse the exclusivity clause in zero-hour contracts, tying workers to one company.

Vince Cable refused to rule out the use of zero-hours contracts entirely. Credit: PA

Vince Cable announced a clampdown on employers who take on staff with no promise of hours or benefits, and insist they work for no one else.

Despite calls from unions to ban zero-hours contracts outright, Mr Cable said the controversial practice had a place in the labour market - offering working opportunities especially for students and older people.

However, an estimated 125,000 zero-hours workers will benefit from the exclusivity clause ban as they can now look for additional work without fear of losing their current employment, the Business Department said.

A recent report by the Office for National Statistics estimated that employers held 1.4 million contracts that did not guarantee a minimum number of hours.

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