Foyle MP Eastwood urges government to end ‘fire and re-hire’ business practices

SDLP Leader and Foyle MP Colum Eastwood voted in support of maintaining employment rights and protections following the breakaway from the EU.

Mr Eastwood took part in a debate about employment rights at Westminster on Monday night.

The protections being demanded include rest breaks at work and inclusion of overtime pay when calculating some holiday pay entitlements.

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Colum Eastwood MP also supported calls on the Government to set out to Parliament by the end of January 2021 a timetable to introduce legislation to end fire and re-hire tactics.

Colum Eastwood MP. (Kelvin Boyes/ PressEye)Colum Eastwood MP. (Kelvin Boyes/ PressEye)
Colum Eastwood MP. (Kelvin Boyes/ PressEye)

The MP for Foyle said: “I voted in support of maintaining employment rights and protections as well as calling for the British government to introduce legislation to end ‘fire and re-hire’ policies.

“I was joined by Labour, the SNP and others in demonstrating our unequivocal support for fundamental employment rights for workers.

“The DUP and the Tories didn’t even show up to vote, showing just how serious they are taking workers’ rights during this pandemic which has seen thousands in the North lose their jobs,” he claimed.

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The vote in parliament received 263 ayes, with zero no votes.

Neither Conservative nor DUP MPs were present for the vote.

Stephen Farry from the Alliance party also voted aye on the debate.

Mr Eastwood described the practice of fire and re-hire as “sacking staff and then seeking to re-employ them on significantly reduced terms.”

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“The Coronavirus pandemic has had a massive effect on businesses and jobs all over the North. Many people financially struggled through Christmas and are now faced with a bleak year ahead. Some businesses have taken advantage of this by looking to fire and re-employ workers on severely worse terms than before, including severely reduced pay and conditions,” he added.

The SDLP leader also suggested that “with families to support and houses to run, many will feel forced into accepting these unfair changes.”

The Foyle MP called on the British government to introduce legislation to bring what he described as ‘anti-worker’ and ‘exploitative’ fire and re-hire practices to an end.