Britain's business secretary is removing exclusivity clauses for zero hours contracts
Britain's business secretary is removing exclusivity clauses for zero hours contracts. The service industry primarily uses zero-hour contracts, especially during seasonal peaks and troughs.Reuters

Britain's business secretary Vince Cable will announce the ban of exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts designed to prevent employees from finding extra working hours elsewhere.

However, Cable will stop short of a complete ban of zero hour contracts.

"Zero-hours contracts have a place in today's labour market," Cable will say in a speech later today.

Exclusivity clauses built into zero hours contracts mean workers are essentially trapped, and not allowed to find extra working hours elsewhere, even if the firm they are employed with does not give them any hours that day, week, or even month.

Cable's position remains same as that of the Minister for Employment Relations Jo Swinson in 2013.

Cable will say of the controversial contracts: "They offer valuable flexible working opportunities for students, older people and other people looking to top up their income and find work that suits their personal circumstances.

"But it has become clear that some unscrupulous employers abuse the flexibility that these contracts offer to the detriment of their workers. We are legislating to clamp down on abuses to ensure people get a fair deal."

Under zero-hours contracts, workers are given no guarantee of hours from one week to the next and are not automatically entitled to rights such as sick and holiday pay.

Currently, over one million Britons are employed in zero hours contracts and around 125,000 of these workers are trapped under exclusivity clauses.