Zero Hours Contracts Bill (HC Bill 79)




Prohibit the use of zero hours employment contracts.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Prohibition of zero hours contracts

(1) From the coming into force of this Act it shall be unlawful to issue a zero hours
contract as defined in subsection (3).

(2) Any existing contract with one of the features set out in subsection (3) shall be

(3) A zero hours contract is a contract or arrangement for the provision of labour
which fails to specify guaranteed working hours and has one or more of the
following features—

(a) it requires the worker to be available for work when there is no
10guarantee the worker will be needed;

(b) it requires the worker to work exclusively for one employer;

(c) a contract setting out the worker’s regular working hours has not been
offered after the worker has been employed for 12 consecutive weeks.

(4) The provision in subsection (3)(b) shall not apply if the employer can
15demonstrate a compelling business reason including confidentiality or the
protection of trade secrets to justify a contractual requirement that the worker
shall work exclusively for the employer in question.

(5) The foregoing shall apply subject to the definitions in section 3 of this Act.

2 Right to fixed and regular employment

(1) 20The employer of a worker whose contract becomes void under section 1(2)
above shall offer the worker a contract of employment including fixed and
regular working hours of a type to be specified in regulations made by the
Secretary of State.

Zero Hours Contracts BillPage 2

(2) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this Act may not be made
unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a
resolution of each House of Parliament.

3 Interpretation

5For the purposes of this Act—

(a) a worker is a person who is employed;

(b) a person is employed for the purposes of this Act if he or she is engaged
by another to provide labour and is not genuinely operating a business
on his or her own account;

(c) 10it shall be for the respondent to show in any legal proceedings that the
applicant is not employed.

4 Short title and commencement

(1) This Act may be cited as the Zero Hours Contracts Act 2014.

(2) This Act comes into force on the date of Royal Assent.