Man looking confused holding two pieces of paper during fire and rehire process

The UK government has announced plans to crack down on “fire and rehire” practices.

What is fire and rehire?

Fire and rehire is a tactic that is used by some employers to restructure their workforce by terminating employees’ contracts and then offering them new contracts with worse terms and conditions. This controversial practice has been used by companies in a range of sectors, including hospitality, retail, and manufacturing, and has been criticized by trade unions and employment rights groups.

Is fire and rehire legal in the UK?

Fire and rehire is legally allowed in the UK. Usually, this is done through the company and the employer having a consultation period and a new contract being issued. There are some circumstances where business needs don’t allow for this to happen though.

Under the government’s plans, employers will be required to conduct a formal consultation process with employees before implementing any changes to their terms and conditions. This will include providing employees with written details of the proposed changes and allowing them a reasonable amount of time to respond and provide feedback. Employers will also be required to provide a clear justification for any changes and to consider alternative proposals put forward by employees or their representatives.


The government’s plans have been welcomed by trade unions and employment rights groups, who have long called for action to be taken to prevent the abuse of fire and rehire practices. However, some employer groups have expressed concerns about the impact of the new regulations on their ability to manage their workforce and respond to changing market conditions.

The government’s crackdown on fire and rehire practices is part of a wider package of employment law reforms that aim to improve working conditions and protect workers’ rights. Other measures include proposals to strengthen the enforcement of the minimum wage, to improve protections for gig economy workers, and to introduce a new right to request flexible working for all employees.

Overall, the government’s plans to crack down on fire and rehire practices represent an important step towards improving working conditions and protecting workers’ rights. By requiring employers to conduct a formal consultation process and to provide a clear justification for any changes to employees’ terms and conditions, the government is sending a strong message that exploitative practices will not be tolerated. However, it remains to be seen how the new regulations will be enforced in practice, and whether they will have the desired impact on reducing the use of fire and rehire practices by employers.

To read more on this, we recommend checking out the post on the Government website

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