Zero hours contracts are contracts which do not guarantee any hours of work per week – ‘normal’ contract of employments will guarantee that a certain number of hours work are to be performed. It was quite a common occurrence to see an exclusivity clause in a zero hours contract, which stipulated that the worker was not permitted to obtain more work for another employee, or to look for more work with another employer without first getting the permission of their existing employer.
In May 2015, these exclusivity clauses were made banned and employers could no longer put them into operation. In order to allow workers to enforce their new rights, a new tribunal claim was created. This came into effect on Monday 11th January 2016.
Therefore, zero hours employees can claim unfair dismissal if they are dismissed for taking on more work with a different employer, or for doing so without the existing employer’s permission. People working on zero hours contracts who are not employees can make a claim for detriment at employment tribunal if they are subjected to detrimental treatment because they have looked for more work.
This claim can be made from day one of employment (i.e. the usual 2 year qualifying service does not apply). Compensation for unfair dismissal/detriment can be as much as £92,585.