Fire and rehire is when bad bosses threaten workers with the sack and are told they will only be re-employed to do the same basic job if they accept less money and poorer conditions.
Even the government agrees that fire and rehire tactics are wrong but have refused to outlaw them. Jacob Rees-Mogg has described fire and rehire as “wrong” and a “bad practice” while Business Minister, Paul Scully, has branded it as “bully-boy tactics”.
Barry Gardiner is the MP for Brent North. He has introduced a Private Members Bill to outlaw it. Barry launched his campaign at Jacob Douwe Egberts in Banbury. As he pointed out in an article for the influential Insititute of Employment Rights:
“Coffee consumption was up 40% during the lockdown and Jacobs Douwe Egbert made record profits, but that didn’t stop them threatening their workforce in Banbury with the sack unless they accepted a cut in wages of up to £12,000. No family should have to put up with that. I met hundreds of workers who told me what that loss of earnings meant for them: How do you pay your rent or your mortgage with a cut like that? How do you support your family? Every pound cut is a pound less to pay your rent, to pay your mortgage and the fear of eviction or repossession is very real.“
The Bill proposed by Barry has already attracted support from over 100 MPs from every single party in the House of Commons – including a growing number of Conservative MPs. Patrick Harrington, general secretary of Solidarity union, declared: “Barry Gardiners Bill should have the support of every honest working man and woman in our country. He is 100 percent right that legislation, not just fine words, is needed to stop this disgraceful tactic.”