The work is supporting an attempt to change the law to curb companies’ ability to lay off staff and take them back on different, often worse, conditions and wages.
The practice – known as “fire and rehire” – has caused several union disputes.
A bill presented to lawmakers on Friday says that dismissal and reinstatement should not be allowed unless employees have been properly consulted first.
But the government ordered Conservative MPs to oppose the legislation.
Fire and rehire has been around for decades, but the practice has received more attention recently as more companies affected by the pandemic have used it to reduce staff costs.
- Why are companies firing and hiring their employees?
- Fair pay and decency at work are top priorities – Rayner
Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it “unacceptable” for bosses to use it to force layoffs and re-hiring of workers simply to increase profits.
But the government has no plans to ban Labor Congressman Barry Gardiner’s bill.
The Labor Party says it fully supports a ban on dismissal and recruitment.
But on Friday he will order his MPs to support this offer to limit the practice.
The private member’s bill, proposed by Mr. Gardiner, says employees should be fully consulted on any layoff and rehiring plans.
If the employees agreed, they could be hired on new terms, under the new bill.
But if a dispute arises between staff and a company, an independent committee would decide whether the layoff and redeployment can go ahead, the bill says.
Gardiner told the BBC that his plan was a “practical” way to deal with the “worst excesses” of layoffs and recruitment – and said the proposals could quickly become law if backed by the government.
The BBC has learned that government ministers have been contacted to see if they will support his plan.
The debate in the House of Commons is expected to last about four hours and the bill can be “debated”, which means that opposing MPs can stop voting by continuing to speak until the deadline for discussion.
Comment was requested from the Department of Enterprise, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy.
- Barry Gardiner
- Keir Starmer
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