Draft Code of Practice on Dismissal and Re-Engagement

On Tuesday 24 January, BEI published a draft Code of Practice on Dismissal and Re-engagement or, as most recently referred to, the practice of ‘fire and re-hire’. The practice came to the forefront of employment law during lockdown when a number of businesses tried to dismiss workers and then re-hire them under different, usually less advantageous, terms and conditions.

The purpose of the Code is to provide good guidance when companies and employers need to negotiate/impose changes to terms and conditions. It appears as though it will be used in a similar manner to the ACAS Code, as such, failure to comply with the Code will be taken into account in an unfair dismissal claim where employees are dismissed for not agreeing to contractual changes, and an uplift award of up to 25% may be given to the employee.

The key recommendations within the Code are meaningful consultation and an obligation on the employer/company that if no agreement can be reached it will need to review its business strategy.

The consultation is open until 18 April 2023 after which the Government will review the responses and eventually finalise the Code. You can access the draft code here:  Code of Practice on Dismissal and Re-engagement.

Claire Helling, Senior Solicitor

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