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Fire and rehire: government responds to consultation on Code of Practice

21 February 2024

The Government has responded to the consultation on the draft Statutory Code of Practice on Dismissal and Re-engagement, which includes minor amends to the draft.

The consultation, which came after public outcry around employers using ‘fire and rehire’ practices to force changes in employee terms and conditions, closed in spring 2023.

The Government’s response contains an amended draft code, along with an explanatory memorandum, to be presented to Parliament for approval. The key provisions remain the same as in the original draft code, summarised here, but there have been some minor amendments as follows:

Original draft code New draft Code
Employers must contact Acas if unable to reach agreement with employees about fire and re-hire Employers must contact Acas at an early stage, before raising fire and re-hire with employees
Phasing-in changes are obligatory Phasing-in changes are best practice
No reference to employers providing information in writing Good practice for employers to provide information in writing

Failure to follow the code can be taken into account by tribunals in relevant cases, and tribunals will be able to uplift any compensation awarded by up to 25% for unreasonable failure to follow the code.

If the code is approved by Parliament, it should come into effect later in 2024.

If your business needs help with this or any other matter, our employment law team can help.

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Our Legal 500-rated employment law team are experts in guiding businesses of all sizes and backgrounds through a range of issues that may arise, whether that’s redundancy and staff reorganisation, restrictions on competition post-employment, protecting confidential business information, employment and consultancy contracts and more.

Disclaimer: All legal information is correct at the time of publication but please be aware that laws may change over time. This article contains general legal information but should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please seek professional legal advice about your specific situation - contact us; we’d be delighted to help.
Hayley Ainsworth BA, MSc
Associate, solicitor
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