Unions call for ‘fire and rehire’ ban

Members of union Unite will hold a demonstration today in Wolverhampton on the eve of the Queen’s Speech, demanding that the Government takes action to outlaw the practice of fire and rehire.

A study by the TUC found that since the beginning of the pandemic one in 10 workers have been threatened with the threat of fire and rehire, where they are made redundant and forced to accept new contracts on “vastly inferior” pay and conditions.

The TUC says the number of workers affected by fire and rehire is likely to dramatically increase as the government furlough scheme begins to wind down and companies look to use the pandemic as cover to slash costs and boost profits.

Pressure is mounting on the government to take action. A Unite commissioned poll released last week found that 70% of the public want it made illegal.

Unite deputy regional secretary for the West Midlands Natalia Stepnowska said: “We want action to protect the workers of this region. While fire and rehire is legal in this country, no worker is safe.

“The power to stop it sits with the prime minister. During the Queen’s Speech tomorrow, we’re calling on Mr Johnson to use that power, get behind Britain’s workers and ban fire and rehire.”