Employment Law update from Aspire HR – June 2015

Following the general election in May, the Conservatives have starting to implement a number of employment law changes proposed in their manifesto.

Zero Hours Contracts

There’s been lots reported over recent months about zero hour’s contracts and a key change already in force is in relation to this topic which has caused much debate. Such contracts allow workers to be employed without any guarantee of work or pay (unless the employee is given and performs work). The most controversial aspect of such contracts is the use of exclusivity clauses which prevent a worker being employed anywhere else, despite the fact they are not guaranteed any work under the contract.

As of 26 May 2015, exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts have now been banned so any provision which prohibits workers from being engaged by another employer or from undertaking other work without their employer’s consent, will be unenforceable. This change has been introduced under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 which amends the Employment Rights Act 1996.

There is still concern that employers will get around this ban in various ways, including by reducing any work offered to those who undertake work for another employer. Further regulations dealing with anti-avoidance measures are awaited.

National Minimum Wage changes:

Also with effect from 26 May 2015, the party has brought in legislation to increase the maximum penalty for non-payment of the national minimum wage. This penalty was previously a maximum of £20,000 per employer, whereas it can now be calculated as £20,000 per worker.

Further changes in relation to national minimum wage are anticipated in the near future, in line with the party’s pledge to increase the national minimum wage to over £8 an hour by 2020.


If you would like to discuss any of these topics, or any other aspect of employment legislation, please do not hesitate to contact Catherine at catherine@aspirehr.co.uk