What is the new statutory code of practice for fire and re-hire?
Currently, it is in a 12-week consultation period. In this new practice, employers must consult with staff in a transparent and fair manner.
An agreement should be sought after by the employer and the employee. If the negotiating between the two doesn’t end in mutual agreement the business must examine the case further. If there’s nothing the employer can do, then the fire re-hire practice would be acceptable.
To conduct the consultation in a fair and reasonable manner, employers need to explore and discuss all reasonable steps with the employee first.
The new statutory code of practice doesn’t currently have a set time limit for how long these consultations last, but a longer one would be more satisfactory.
Employers who fail to comply with the statutory code of practice would see up to a 25% uplift in an employee’s compensation. For example, this is in cases of unfair dismissals.
The government hopes that the code will prevent the threat of fire and re-hire as a negotiation tactic.
Employers must realise that this tactic, just like in P&O’s case, creates the risk of legal claims, reputational damage, and negative effects on employee relationships.