To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of 27 April 2021, Official Report, column 86WH, what steps her Department has taken to (a) investigate the use of fire and rehire tactics by its executive non-departmental public bodies, (b) communicate the Government's position on fire and rehire tactics to those bodies and )c) discourage the use of such tactics by those bodies.
The Government has been very clear that threatening fire and rehire as a negotiating tactic is completely unacceptable. The Government always expects employers to treat employees fairly and in the spirit of partnership working with trade unions, where relevant, constructively. The Government is confident that all non-departmental public bodies are aware of the Government’s position on this matter.
The Department for International Trade (DIT) has only one non-departmental public body, the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), which was established on 1 June 2021. The TRA, like all non-departmental public bodies does not employ civil servants and is responsible for the management of its staff.
DIT works constructively with the TRA when it comes to workforce management matters, however the TRA is ultimately responsible for the management of its staff. There is a Human Resources Memorandum of Understanding between DIT and the TRA, which sits alongside the Framework Agreement that is required for all Public Bodies. These documents outline how DIT will work with the TRA to support staff retention and redeployment policy.