New statement from P&O about why it sacked 800 staff without warning: ‘We took the view, in good faith, that reaching agreement on the way forward would be impossible and that the process itself would be highly disruptive, not just for the business but for UK trade and tourism.’
Looks like P&O have not even gone through 'proper channels' for fire and rehire (see below).
FWIW I heard Natalie talking this evening at Dover/Deal Conservative AGM.
She does believe that P&O have behaved disgracefully as do HMG who are reviewing all contracts with Dubai Ports Ltd
The Guardian sets out the legal position here as they see it :-
An EDM was tabled in Parliament last year as follows:-
That this House notes with alarm the growing number of employers who are dismissing and re-engaging staff on worse pay and terms and conditions, a practice commonly known as fire and rehire; agrees with the Government that such tactics represent an unacceptable abuse of power by rogue bosses, many of whom are exploiting the covid-19 crisis to increase profits at the expense of loyal staff who have risked their lives during the pandemic to keep businesses going; welcomes the Government’s stated commitment to tackle those shameful abuses; calls on the Government to publish the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service report into the practice received by Ministers on 17 February 2021; and further calls on the Government to outlaw this form of industrial blackmail, as is the case in other European countries, to protect UK workers from exploitation by unscrupulous employers.
Labour later introduced a bill:-
But did not receive Govt support.
(It did not appear to make fire and re-hire illegal, merely to set up a framework for negotiation from my reading of it - perhaps I am wrong?).
The ACAS report referred to is here:-
To quote from it:-
A range of potential legal reforms and other interventions were suggested to either prohibit or to more strongly disincentivise the practice; while some urged caution in considering whether any particular remedy might create a worse problem than the one it is intended to address, for instance by driving more redundancies or business failures.
Suggested legislative options included: tightening up the law around unfair dismissal; enhancing the requirement and capacity for employment tribunals to scrutinise business’ rationale for change in relevant cases; protecting continuity of employment in fire-and-rehire-scenarios; and strengthening employers’ consultation obligations around proposed dismissals.
Personally I find it shameful that employees were not offered continuity of employment as a minimum. Looking at it cynically I suspect that P&O are trying to avoid a summer of industrial action on the ferries with the mass redundancies.
I keep on reading that 'dismissal and re-engagement' is illegal in Ireland, in France, in Spain and even in the EU as an entirety but can find no rules/legislation making it illegal, merely guidelines, as we have in this country on 'good practice' in such cases.
Perhaps it's another myth that 'obviously' we'd have been much better off in the EU based on nothing.
I'd be interested to learn otherwise.
'If no one went no faster than what I do there'd be a sight less trouble in this world'