Great Britain: fears spark over a ‘fire-and-rehire’ wave after British Gas lays off gas engineers

Nearly 500 British Gas engineers recently lost their jobs after they refused to sign up to new employment contract terms that included lower pay and longer hours, under the employer’s ‘fire-and-rehire’ practice. With this practice the employer offers the employee the opportunity to resign in order to sign a new, less advantageous contract, and the employee knows that if s/he refuses the new terms then s/he will be laid off. Perceived as a lifeline by some companies amid the current health crisis, this process is now becoming commonplace and trade unions are raising alarm bells. Expert opinion on the practice has been mixed.

Through . Published on 20 April 2021 à 12h32 - Update on 20 April 2021 à 13h13

Will the British Gas ‘fire-and-rehire’ episode now snowball? This is the question everyone is asking amid these highly publicized layoffs. Taking advantage of this spotlight, the Unite union launched a campaign on 16 April seeking to ban the process. ‘This would benefit millions of people overnight but it will also support the responsible employers while making clear to those with fewer scruples that these sorts of actions are not tolerated in this country,’ the union stated,…

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