The Trade Union Congress has recently found that one in ten employees were told to reapply for their current role on worse off terms and conditions. If employees didn’t cooperate then they were threatened with being fired. This is something that HR will need to be mindful of as it could again cause the number of cases leading to the tribunal to significantly increase.
A significant increase in claims means more pressure on ACAS and longer waiting times for cases to be heard. With disgruntled employees also realising how unfair this is it may also lead to them striking from work. The Trade Union Congress has noted that this approach of rehiring employees with worse off terms and conditions seems to impact people who are either in the 18-24 category, working class, or BME. BME employees have especially felt this as 15% of them have been faced with the ‘fire and rehire’ tactic, almost double white employees which currently sits at 8%.
Such tactics need to be made aware of as a lot of large British companies have been pushing for their employees to be re-employed with a contract that has poorer terms and it has gone unnoticed. This behaviour is unacceptable in a modern society, especially in a time as testing as a pandemic. It is understandable that certain terms may change as a result of the pandemic, for example, hours of work to fit new coronavirus legislation. Significantly reducing pay or reducing a condition of work in such a way that the employee suffers a detriment is intolerable.
With the promise from the prime minister that our workforce would be united and strong during the pandemic, it is clear that there are a lot of shortcomings of this promise. Our employment rights that have been derived from EU law should not be made stagnant or looked down upon, but rather reiterated and upheld. No one should be treated unfairly at work in any form, rehiring staff with worse terms and conditions is disrespectful and harmful to your workforce.