Crack down on ‘fire and rehire’ practices
28/02/2024

The Government has announced action to tackle the use of controversial 'fire and rehire' practices. In a press release issued 19 February 2024 they said:

“Action against unscrupulous employers to tackle the use of controversial ‘fire and rehire’ practices will be rolled out by the Government today [19 February].

Dismissal and re-engagement, also known as ‘fire and rehire’, refers to when an employer fires an employee and offers them a new contract on new, often less favourable terms.

The Government has been clear that it firmly opposes this practice being used as a negotiating tactic. Today, a new statutory Code of Practice has been published making clear how employers must behave in this area. 

This new Code of Practice shows the Government is going a step further to protect workers across the country. This will help to preserve security and opportunity for those in work, as part of our plan to grow the economy.

In future the courts, and employment tribunals, will take the Code into account when considering relevant cases. This will include on unfair dismissal claims where the employer should have followed the Code.

Employment tribunals will have the power to apply an uplift of up to 25 percent of an employee’s compensation if an employer unreasonably fails to comply with the Code.

The new Code clarifies how employers should behave when seeking to change employees’ terms and conditions, aiming to ensure employees are properly consulted and treated fairly.

Employers will now also need to explore alternatives to dismissal and re-engagement and have meaningful discussions with employees or trade unions to reach an agreed outcome.

The Code makes it clear to employers that they must not use threats of dismissal to pressurise employees into accepting new terms. They should also not raise the prospect of dismissal unreasonably early or threaten dismissal where it is not envisaged.”


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