The Business Secretary, Vince Cable has announced, at the Lib Dems Conference, that a consultation on zero hours contracts will be launched at some point in the last few months of this year. The consultation will explore how to tackle any abuses and the issue of exclusivity. BIS officials have already carried out a review which highlighted exclusivity as one of the key areas for concern. Exclusivity meaning that employees are not guaranteed a minimum number of hours (hence the term zero hours) and yet are often prevented from working for other employers.
It is of course important to remember that in some industries the use of zero hours contracts is both more common place and necessary to flex up and down to meet demand. That said, I have seen cases where they have been used purely as a vehicle to minimise the employees rights without any real justification as to why the employee is on a zero hours contract rather than a standard hours contract.