Stop Fire and Rehire Bill
While fire and rehire is not new, it has gained prominence during the pandemic as a result of high-profile businesses, such as British Airways, Heathrow Airport and British Gas, using the pandemic as an excuse to force lower wages and longer hours on their workforce.
A Trades Union Congress (TUC) poll revealed that since the first lockdown in March 2020: nearly 1 in 10 workers (9%) have been told to re-apply for their jobs on worse terms and conditions, nearly a fifth of 18–24-year-olds say their employer has tried to rehire them on inferior terms, and twice as many black and minority ethnic workers (15%) have been faced with fire and rehire as white workers (8%).
Unite the Union, GMB, and other trade unions have been standing up for workers by campaigning against fire and rehire. Rachel Hopkins MP is a Unite member and has supported the union’s campaign, including joining the national day of action against fire and rehire at Westminster.
Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent North, has introduced the Employment and Trade Union Rights (Dismissal and Re-engagement) Bill to tackle the Government’s failure to act. The Bill aims to enshrine good practice into law and penalise unscrupulous employers.
Rachel Hopkins MP said:
“MPs must act to stop the exploitative fire and rehire practice. Increasing job insecurity, stagnant wages and the threat of unemployment has inflicted terrible financial and mental pressure on workers.
An effective recovery needs decent employment protections at its heart. There’s no place for this abhorrent practice in a productive economy that prioritises good wellbeing.
The Government’s empty reassurances are not cutting it – that’s why I am standing shoulder-to-shoulder with workers from across the country by backing Barry’s Bill.”
On Friday 22nd October, it is the Employment and Trade Union Rights (Dismissal and Re-engagement) Bill’s Second Reading debate. Both Rachel Hopkins MP and Sarah Owen MP hope to speak, and the debate can be watched by following the link at 9.30 am: https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/d7d601a0-9e3b-4cb9-85df-c6da5f03bba6.
Stop Fire and Rehire campaign website – https://www.stopfireandrehire.org/
Unite the Union national day of action – https://unitelive.org/we-can-win-on-fire-and-rehire/ and https://www.unitetheunion.org/news-events/news/2021/september/unite-launches-national-day-of-action-to-end-fire-and-rehire/