The Public Contracts Regulations 2006, as amended, are applicable in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and they set out the minimum requirements in respect of communications, including electronic communications, in the context of public procurement. In Scotland corresponding provisions are contained in the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2012.
The term ‘zero-hours’ (or ‘hours-to-be notified’) is not legally defined. In the context of work contracts, the term is commonly used to refer to a contract whereby an individual undertakes to be available for work, and a contract is drafted in a manner, so that there is no obligation for an employer to guarantee hours of work (or any work).
The court upheld the application for judicial review. It found that NILGOSC had not demonstrated that the difference in treatment was justified. There was no ‘reasonable relationship of proportionality between the aim’ (eradicating status discrimination) and the ‘means employed’ (nomination) as required by Article 14.
In December 2012, the Cabinet Office published its annual report entitled ‘Public Bodies 2012’. The report sets out information on the size, expenditure and membership of the Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sector and the progress which has been made to date following an announcement by the Government in 2010 of a review of the ‘public bodies landscape’.
The case has implications for employers and employees in attempting to strike a fair balance between competing rights. The judgment demonstrates the circumstances in which the courts will find that an individual’s right to manifest religion impinges on the rights of others and the restrictions which can be made.