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Code of practice on fire and rehire not enough to stop another P&O Ferries

20 February 2024

Nautilus International says the government's code of practice on fire and rehire does not go far enough.

Nautilus director of organising Martyn Gray said: 'Fire and rehire is a coercive practice used by employers to unilaterally weaken their employees' terms and conditions, deliberately bypassing consultation with recognised unions.

'Our message is simple: fire and rehire must be outlawed, nothing less is acceptable.

'Shortly after the public outrage of P&O Ferries mass-sacking in March 2022, the UK government announced it would take a series of actions to ensure this could never happen again. 

'While this code of practice would have increased the cost to P&O Ferries for carrying out their egregious actions, it would not have stopped it.   

'This code of practice, put simply, does not meet the government's own standard of ensuring another P&O Ferries cannot happen again.'


Code lacks bite –TUC

TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: 'This code lacks bite and is not going to deter bad employers like P&O from treating staff like disposable labour. We need far more robust legislation to protect people at work. One in 10 were threatened with fire and rehire during the pandemic – tinkering around the edges is not going to cut it.'

He praised Labour's pledge to end fire and rehire. 'Labour's New Deal for Working People would be the biggest upgrade in workers' rights in a generation. It would put an end to fire and rehire and would provide millions with the security they badly-need,' he said.