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P&O Ferries: UK government reveals anti-'fire and rehire' plan

3 February 2023

The UK government has finally revealed its plans to deal with 'fire and rehire' tactics, which it promised to crack down on following the P&O Ferries crisis.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Department for Transport says that the government will introduce a statutory code of practice which 'makes it explicitly clear to employers that they must not use threats of dismissal to pressurise employees into accepting new terms, and that they should have honest and open-minded discussions with their employees and representatives.'

It will set out employers' responsibilities when seeking to change contractual terms and conditions of employment.

The government stated that courts and employment tribunals will have the power to apply a 25% uplift to an employee's compensation in certain circumstances if an employer is found to not comply with the statutory code.

The code of practice will be subject to a consultation before it is implemented. Click here to participate in the consultation and share your views on the code of practice.

Nautilus director of legal services Charles Boyle said: 'These proposals have arisen out of P&O Ferries' disgraceful sacking of 876 seafarers in March last year. The proposals will not stop this happening again, but in their current form will make it more expensive, as compensation can be increased by 25% for non-compliance. Nautilus will work in conjunction with the TUC in the consultation response with the aim of strengthening these provisions.'


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