Jemma Dolan MLA invites your views on the Private Members Bill which she is currently developing.

This Consultation seeks to inform stakeholders and the wider public of the Member’s intention to bring forward a Zero Hours Contracts Bill. The purpose of the Bill is to ban the use of Zero Hour Contracts and to replace them with Banded Hour Contracts.

Case for Reform

This Private Members Bill will ban the use of Zero Hours Contracts and will replace them with Banded Hour Contracts. The provision of Banded Hours Contracts will mean that workers on short hour contracts will have a statutory entitlement to a Banded Hour Contract if the number of hours that they have actually worked in the previous 12 months does not reflect their contracted hours.

Each Band will provide workers with a minimum and maximum number of hours of work each week, providing them with greater certainty over their weekly wage and entitlements.

In terms of enforcement the Labour Relations Agency will be tasked with monitoring employers’ compliance with the legislation. The legislation will require employers to keep records of changes to employment contracts and changes to bands.

The Labour Relations Agency will be tasked with carrying out inspections to ensure that this is done and with mediating disputes between employees and employers, if these should arise.

The Bill proposal will also seek to minimise if not ban the use of contractual Exclusivity clauses which prevent workers from “looking for work elsewhere particularly when they needed more hours to bump up their earnings.”

Further details and information regarding the Bill can be found in the Research and Information Service Briefing Paper (NIAR 171-20). The Research Paper is titled Private Member’s Bill: Zero Hours Contracts.