Unite has launched a national campaign calling for fire and rehire to be outlawed.
The union Unite has launched a national campaign to end the practice of fire and rehire, which includes coordinated strikes and actions across the country.
Fire and rehire is a process whereby workers are dismissed and then rehired on worse pay and conditions. The TUC says that one in 10 workers had been threatened with fire and rehire during the pandemic, with fears that number will grow as furlough ends unless the practice is banned.
Unite is representing its members in a number of disputes with employers over their fire and rehire attacks on workers.
A recent Observer investigation into firms engaging in fire and rehire found that 70 per cent are turning a profit while over half received government support during the pandemic and some are increasing executive pay while trying to reduce the pay and conditions of their workers.
Howard Beckett, Unite’s assistant general secretary for politics and legal, said: “This wave of despicable fire and rehire tactics from bad bosses will only grow as furlough comes to an end. After months of pandemic hardship, this is no way to treat people.
“The government knows this is wrong and can end fire and rehire. It’s already banned in Ireland and Spain and unacceptable in other competitor economies where governments step in to defend workers.
“Bad employers are using the opportunity of crisis to fire and rehire workers on dramatically reduced terms and conditions. It can’t be allowed to happen. Workers cannot be made to pay for a crisis they have not caused.”