I have been contacted by a number of constituents about fire and rehire.
Allowing working people to be bullied onto lower wages and worse terms and conditions is both morally wrong and economically damaging. I am therefore proud to be backing my colleague Barry Gardiner’s Employment and Trade Union Rights (Dismissal and Re-engagement) Bill, which seeks to protect workers against dismissal and re-engagement on inferior terms and conditions. The Bill has the support of the TUC, UNITE, the GMB and other trade unions.
The practice of fire and rehire is sadly not a new one, but it seems to have become increasingly common during the pandemic, with some major companies taking advantage of the crisis to threaten to sack their staff unless they agree to worse pay, terms and conditions. The TUC has found that nearly one in ten workers have been told to re-apply for their jobs on worse terms and conditions since March 2020.
I was in the House of Commons on 22nd October to support Barry Gardiner’s Bill when it was debated. He made an excellent speech but I’m very sorry to have to report that the Conservatives deliberately talked his Bill out; ie they used parliamentary tactics to stop the Bill from proceeding to the next stage.
This was a very disappointing outcome but we’re not giving up. The campaign will keep going.
Hilary Benn MP