Easington MP Grahame Morris called on Government to outlaw fire and rehire and publish the ACAS report into the practice in this afternoon’s Westminster Hall debate secured by Jarrow MP Kate Osborne.
‘Fire and Rehire’ is when an employer essentially blackmails workers into signing up to pay cuts and degraded terms and conditions or face losing their job altogether. The pandemic has seen one in ten workers already threatened with fire and rehire, many of whom by firms in receipt of government-funded Covid support. As furlough comes to an end, many more will undoubtedly face the same threat.
The debate follows Unite the Union’s day of action against fire on rehire on Monday, which saw Labour MPs expressing solidarity with employees who have been victimised.
Over the last year, Unite have successfully opposed fire and rehire tactics attempted to be used by British Airways, Heathrow Airport and SPS Technologies. Mr Morris paid tribute to Unite the Union, saying “without our trade unions, workers at these companies would have suffered dramatic pay cuts, and weakened terms and conditions.”
He went on to say that “the best safeguard against this unacceptable ‘bully boy’ behaviour is the Minister, who has it within his power to outlaw this practice both he and the Prime Minister state they oppose.”
Last year, the Government asked ACAS to report on the extent of fire and rehire. Answers to parliamentary questions tabled by the Easington MP and others reveal that ministers received the report on 17 February. However, the Government has so far refused to share or release the report’s finding, even in a redacted form.
Unite the Union are still fighting fire and rehire attempts at Goodlord, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, and Go North West.
Mr Morris concluded, “I hope the Minister will stand with honouable Members here today, and promise to do more than condemn ‘Fire and Rehire’, but to outlaw the practices like Ireland, Spain and France.”