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Fire and Rehire

Thank you to constituents for getting in touch to call for a ban on fire and rehire practices in the workplace. This is an incredibly important topic and I thank you for taking the time to inform me of your views on this matter. From the outset, I can assure you that I share your concerns. Fire and rehire is an appalling and abusive practice that must be outlawed. Unfortunately, under the current devolved settlement, employment law remains a reserved matter for the UK Government. That said, the SNP remains committed to using levers available to make Fair Work the norm in Scottish workplaces through its Fair Work Action plan. As well as this, the SNP Shadow Spokesperson for Transport, Gavin Newlands MP, has led the charge in Westminster to ban fire and rehire tactics and ensure workers are not the victim of bosses looking to cut costs. He has tabled two Bills to Parliament in recent months seeking to outlaw the practice, with the support of over 100 MPs and the backing of all major trade unions including Unite, BALPA and GMB Scotland. At the start of the year, Gavin Newlands MP again raised this matter with the Prime Minister, who responded saying “we believe that using threats of firing and rehiring is unacceptable as a negotiating tactic” but has yet to back those words with concrete action. The SNP group has since challenged the UK government to publish the findings of a review completed by ACAS into the exploitative fire and rehire practice. I can assure you that my SNP colleagues and I will continue to demand that the UK Government either get behind the SNP’s Fire and Rehire Bill or bring in its own legislation to give millions of workers – at British Airways, Centrica, and elsewhere - the same protections enjoyed across Europe. The UK Government must act swiftly and decisively to ban fire and rehire practices - until this happens, more employers will be encouraged to follow suit. That said, I am firmly of the view that Scotland should not have to wait for Westminster to act on this matter – we must be able to take employment matters into our own hands.

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