I have a number of employees to whom I guarantee a couple of hours a week. That way, they know they're going to get at least some work, although it is usually much more. So that I know I can call on them whenever I need to, can I ban them from working elsewhere? 

The Exclusivity Terms for Zero Hours Workers (Unenforceability and Redress) Regulations 2022 came into force from 5 December 2022. These regulations make exclusivity clauses unenforceable in employment contracts where the guaranteed weekly income is below or equivalent to the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) (see our Statutory rates page for the current rate).

This means that if the contracts you have guarantee these employees the same as, or less than, the current rate of the LEL then you cannot stop them from working elsewhere; clauses setting this out should not be in the contract with the employee as they cannot be enforced. This applies even if these employees regularly earn over the LEL: the key is how much they are guaranteed to earn each week. 

Based on current national living and minimum wage rates, this will affect those guaranteed up to around 13 hours (this will vary depending on the individual’s age and rate of pay).

Further information