“We welcome today's statement from Vince Cable on moving to legislate to ban the use of exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts. The Chamber received significant feedback from its membership on the issue of zero-hours contracts noting that, whilst seeking to outlaw them in legislation would be counter-productive because of their importance in maintaining vital flexibility in the labour market for both employers and employees, aspects of their current use were considered by many to be unacceptable. Our member businesses were clear that the use of exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts is unduly exploitative of employees and were supportive of calls to make this illegal.
"The strength of the economic recovery and the relatively low levels of unemployment have been caused, at least in part, by the flexibility within our labour market and the use of zero-hours contracts, whilst small, is an important part of providing businesses and their staff with vital flexibility. For some sectors, our members tell us that their use is not only of huge importance in their business model, but also that the overwhelming majority of people who are employed by them also value the flexibility that they can bring to suit their own personal circumstances. It is good, therefore, to see government acting sensibly by seeking to outlaw the abuses whilst understanding that the core concept is not fundamentally flawed or exploitative but vital to support business and employment growth."