Conditions of Employment: Re-employment

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 7th September 2020.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to prevent businesses from firing and rehiring employees to circumvent re-negotiation on staff contracts.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

Terms and conditions of employment are for negotiation and agreement between employers and employees (or their representatives). Provided they do not discriminate unlawfully, for example on grounds of race, sex or disability, employers are free to offer the terms and conditions of employment which best suit their business needs.

However, we expect all employers, to treat employees fairly and in the spirit of partnership. Contract terms cannot lawfully be changed by the employer without prior agreement from the employee (either individually or through a recognised trade union). Depending on the extent and likely impact of the proposed changes, employers should meet with affected employees, or the union where one is recognised, and explain their case for making the proposed change.

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