Are you a Zero Hours employer or employee?

The Department of Business innovation & Skills recently announced new regulations that will ban exclusivity clauses in employment contracts where no hours are guaranteed.

They are now consulting on how employers might circumvent the new rules, how individual industries should be regulated and what the penalties should be when the rules are broken.

You can read the consultation paper HERE

Zero hours and exclusivity clauses: the background

The consultation paper acknowledges that zero hours contracts have a part to play in the UK employment scene, offering employers and employees a degree of flexibility.

The Department has however decided, in the interests of fairness, to ban the use of exclusivity clauses in contracts. These require employees to work only for the zero hours employer.

The question now is how unscrupulous employers might seek to circumvent the ban, say by guaranteeing one hour per week to buy back the exclusivity.

The rules will be further refined as a result of the consultation, which finishes on November 3rd 2014.

Other zero hours issues

The consultation will explore other aspects of zero hours employment, such as how accrued benefits should be calculated and how laws should be applied to different sectors.

Another issue up for discussion is the way in which zero hours work is booked and cancelled, and whether this is fair to the employee.

Obviously ‘fairness’ is a subjective term, so the consultation will be seeking to reach a balanced conclusion to draft into law. If you have an opinion, take a closer look.

If you would like to discuss zero hours or any aspect of employing people, please get in touch.

Sue is our Managing Director and Head of Employment Law. Praised for her combination of common sense and expert knowledge, she offers advice to commercial clients on all employment matters and has also handled complex cases for individual employees.

From defending claims for damages and allegations of breached restrictive covenants or franchise agreements, to helping a multi-national organisation achieve the favourable resolution of a claim from its former CEO, Sue has successfully represented clients in the civil courts and at employment tribunal.

Sue enjoys sharing her legal and HR knowledge with organisations in the fast-moving world of sport, particularly football. As an experienced member of Verisona Law’s Football and Sports Law team, Sue understands the issues that are specific to the industry and deals with the many legal elements involved in employment contracts for non-playing staff at a very senior level. She regularly gives advice and support to individuals in contractual negotiations and disputes with Clubs in the Premiership, Championship and lower divisions. She also provides employment and HR advice to Clubs.

Sue is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association, and is a specialist trained ADR workplace mediator.

Sue is recommended in the Legal 500 2019.

Client testimonials

"Sue was easy to deal with and offered all options available. Jane was in contact beforehand to tell me what information was needed and also Sue was prepared for our meeting. I cannot praise Sue and Jane enough and would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Sue and her team."
Mr B, February 2018

"I can thoroughly recommend Sue Ball who has provided me with very clear professional advice on a contractual settlement I needed assistance on. The advice was delivered in a very warm & friendly manner & I would have no hesitation in using her services in future."
Mr Hadadda

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Sue qualified in 1995 with Gray Purdue and became a Partner there shortly afterwards. When Gray Purdue merged with another local firm in 2008 to form Verisona, Sue became Head of the Employment Law Team. Sue is also a member of Verisona’s Football & Sports Law team.

One of Sue's cases went to the House of Lords and is now regarded as an important test case (Neufeld -v- Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform).


  • Contracts of employment and staff handbooks
  • Redundancy procedures
  • Restructuring programmes
  • TUPE law
  • Settlement agreements
  • Employment tribunal claims
  • Disciplinary and grievance processes

Sports and Football

  • Contractual issues
  • Service agreements
  • Executive departures

Company directors

  • Service agreements
  • Planning exit strategies
  • Settlement agreements

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