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Draft Code of Practice on Fire and Re-Hire launched by the government


The government has launched a consultation on the draft Code of Practice for firing and re-hiring employees.


The Code provides practical guidance to employers and employees in situations where an employer:


• considers that it wants to make changes to its employees’ contracts of employment; and

• envisages that, if the employees do not agree to those changes, it might dismiss them and either offer them re-employment on those new terms or engage new employees or workers to perform the relevant roles on the new terms.


The focus of the Code is on ensuring that both the employer and the employee (or their representatives) act in good faith in seeking to resolve such disputes. In those circumstances, there may well be legal obligations not referred to within this Code, which fall upon the employer relating to its interactions with employees and their representatives.


The Code does not apply to redundancy dismissals.


It applies regardless of the numbers of employees affected, or potentially affected, by the employer’s proposals and regardless of the business objectives pursued by the employer, or the nature of its reasons for seeking changes to its employee’s terms or conditions.


The Code itself imposes no legal obligations, and a failure to observe it does not, by itself, render anyone liable to proceedings. However, it is admissible in evidence in proceedings before a court or employment tribunal, and any provision of the Code which is relevant to those proceedings must be taken into account by the court or tribunal. In addition, if an employee brings an employment tribunal claim which concerns a matter to which the Code applies, then the tribunal can:


• increase any award it makes by up to 25%, if the employer has unreasonably failed to comply with the Code; or

• decrease any award by up to 25%, where it is the employee who has unreasonably failed to comply.


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Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson
Nov 10, 2023

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