HR briefing - fire and re-hire clauses

07 February 2023

In the third episode of our new podcast series, Jagwinder Kaur joins Matthew Ramsey in exploring fire and re-hire clauses.

Most contractual changes can be agreed between employer and employee, but this is not always the case. Forcing through a change can sometimes be necessary, either by unilaterally imposing the change or, more drastically, by dismissing those employees who refuse to accept the changed terms, and offering to re-employ them on the new terms. Employment lawyers call this dismissal and re-engagement. The press uses the snappier label “fire and re-hire”. This option of last resort has come under heavy criticism in recent months, particularly after the well-publicised P&O episode, with litigation reaching the Court of Appeal in at least one dispute. In March 2022 the Government committed to introducing a new statutory Code of Practice to give clearer guidance in this area. A draft Code has now been published, and we explore the draft in this month’s podcast.