The government have published their draft of statutory fire and re-hire code. Discussions around this code have been ongoing for some time and have been eagerly awaited.
In a bid to crack down on unlawful practises that are occurring within businesses when looking to change T&Cs of their employees.
Under this new code the expectations of employers is outlined clearly with an emphasis placed on the importance of the consultation process with employees, their representatives and any unions too.
The pressure has really been on the government to explore these fire and re-hire practices for a long time, and there have been some high-profile examples of how not to do this most recently the P&O firings of last year.
Businesses have been using this practice for quite some time and some have left employees with no options other than to accept less favourable terms, in this new statutory code there will be more fair practices required from employers including:
- When fire and re-hire should be considered (legitimate business reasons)
- The responsibilities for employers
- Engaging in a consultation process with all necessary parties
- How to approach a resolution when no agreement is reached
It is worth mentioning that this practice should only be considered as a very last resort and only when there is a legitimate business reason for doing so. It’s likely that emotions for all will be heightened if this situation arises in the workplace, it’s really important as an employer that you resist from applying any pressure to employees to accept the new terms, no matter how stressful the situation may become.
Finding a resolution in a fair and stress-free way is always favourable, and this new code will aim to achieve this for all. It will not however, impose any legal implications to the employer or make them liable for legal proceedings by itself. Its main purpose is to crack down on the mistreatment of employees faced with a change in T&Cs.
The consultation continues and is open until 18 April 23