Acas has published a new report setting out key issues in the workplace for 2016. Acas Chair Sir Brendan Barber said:

"The new national living wage, Trade Union Bill, workplace bullying, the UK’s continuing productivity challenge and the changing nature of work such as the increase in the use of zero hours contracts are likely to feature prominently in the year ahead."

"Acas recently produced a study which revealed that workplace bullying is growing in Britain. Our helpline has taken calls from people who had experienced truly horrifying incidents including humiliation, ostracism, verbal and physical abuse.”

Acas has also flagged up issues for employers in relation to the National Minimum Wage. In particular, Mr Barber stated:

"Businesses will need to prepare for the introduction of the new National Living Wage in April and look very closely at their pay and reward structures as well as dealing with how the changes will affect low paid workers."

Acas also flagged up the issue of zero hours contracts, which continues to be a key issue on the Government’s radar. The Office for National Statistics estimates that around 744,000 workers in the UK are engaged on zero hours contracts. This represents an increase of 19% from the previous year’s figures. This suggests that the UK workforce is becoming increasingly agile and flexible, in line with employer demands.

Since 11 January 2016, zero hours contract workers are entitled to protection against unfair dismissal and being subjected to a detriment for failure to comply with an exclusivity clause in their contract which purports to prevent them from working for another employer.

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This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. It should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. Please note that the law may have changed since the date of this article.