The Employment and Trade Union Rights (Dismissal and Re-engagement) Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill introduced by Lord Woodley (Labour). It aims to tighten the rules around the use of fire and rehire practices by employers, including by providing affected workers with additional protections. It is scheduled for second reading in the House of Lords on 1 March 2024. 

Other private members’ bills have been introduced on the subject in previous sessions. In the 2022–23 session, Lord Woodley introduced a bill which was identical in effect; this did not proceed to second reading. In addition, a similar bill was introduced in the House of Commons in the 2021–22 session. 

In March 2022, the government committed to introducing a code to give legal force to government expectations that employers should behave fairly and reasonably when seeking to change employees’ terms and conditions. A draft code of dismissal and re-engagement was published on 24 January 2023. Consultation on this draft code closed on 18 April 2023. The government has committed to publish a final version of the code in Spring 2024. 

This briefing provides information and commentary on private member’s bills seeking to address fire and rehire. It also examines reaction to the government’s draft code.

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