Borough council urged to not 'fire and rehire' ahead of Macclesfield meeting

  Posted: 19.10.21 at 15:29 by Belinda Ryan, Local Democracy Reporter

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Two Cheshire East councillors are seeking assurances the council won’t use fire and rehire as an employer, and it won’t employ contractors who use the practice.

Cllr Laura Smith (Crewe South, Lab) and Connor Naismith (Crewe West, Lab) are also calling on council leader Sam Corcoran (Lab) to write to Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanding he outlaw fire and rehire.

The practice involves workers having to reapply for their jobs on worse pay, terms and conditions or face the sack.

A motion put forward by the two councillors to Wednesday’s (October 20) meeting of the full council states:  “One in 10 workers have experienced ‘fire and rehire’ with BME workers facing this at twice the rate of white workers, since March 2020.

“A quarter of all workers have experienced a worsening of their terms and conditions – including a cut in their pay – since the pandemic began.”

The two councillors said the PM, while condemning it, had ‘continually refused to take action to outlaw the practice’, meaning many workers had been forced to accept worse terms and conditions, so they were working longer hours for lower pay, ‘with what can be devastating consequences for workers and their families’.

Cllr Laura Smith, Crewe South, Labour and Cllr Connor Naismith, Crewe West, Labour disapprove of the employment practice.

Councillors are being asked to support the motion, which also seeks to confirm the council has a procurement official practice ‘that ensures we are working with contractors that have good employment, trade union, equality and environmental records’.

While councillors were unable to name Macclesfield businesses which employed the tactic, it is thought to have increased during the pandemic, especially since the furlough scheme had ended.

The council meeting takes place at Macclesfield Leisure Centre on Priory Lane at 11am on Wednesday, October 20.

The Macclesfield public are welcome to attend.

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