Jersey's Social Security Minister pushing for reforms to zero-hour contracts

Exclusivity clauses, time off and contracts are all set to be reformed, if politicians approve the changes. Credit: ITV Channel

Employees on zero-hours contracts in Jersey will soon be better protected if new proposals from the Social Security Minister are passed in the States.

Deputy Elaine Millar's plans include a ban on exclusivity clauses, meaning people won't always have to be available to work and giving workers who regularly work full-time or part-time the right to switch to more appropriate contracts.

The changes were recommended by the Jersey Employment Forum - an independent advisory body which guides the government on issues like pay and employee rights.

The minister said she has accepted all of the Forum's recommendations, emphasising the importance of striking the right balance between employer and employee:

"I will seek an amendment to the Employment Law to give employees an additional right to request a variation in their contracts.

"Such an amendment would enable an employee to ask for a contract of employment which reflects the reality of their working pattern.

"In its report, the Forum took evidence that some employees on a zero-hour contract were in fact working consistently full-time or part-time hours. This is something a change in the law will help to deal with."

Deputy Millar says she fully accepts the Employment Forum's recommendations on zero-hour contract reforms. Credit: ITV Channel

Deputy Millar adds that she has asked the Forum to review how much compensation can be awarded at an Employment Tribunal when it rules an employee's rights have been broken.

She said the current £10,000 maximum payout has been in place "for many years", so is asking the Forum to run a consultation to determine whether they are still adequate.

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