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Letter writer's anger at fire and rehire, Pinchbeck planning meeting and Thought for the Week

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Shameless practice must end

I am pleased to see ACAS shining a light on the fire and rehire tactic that is being used against workers by unscrupulous bosses.

The Acas advisory and conciliation service has published a report into the practice of dismissal and re-engagement (fire and rehire) that has reportedly become increasingly common since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Acas was invited to carry out the fact-finding exercise by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to inform policy on the issue – but was not asked to make any recommendations to the Government.

It surveyed employer bodies, trade unions, professional bodies and networks for employment lawyers, accountants, HR and payroll services, academics, and Acas senior advisors.

It found there was a shared sense among some participants that the practice has become increasingly prevalent both in recent years and during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Participants gave examples of employers using the pandemic as a “smokescreen” to diminish workers’ terms and conditions and using fire and rehire as a negotiation tactic to undermine or bypass genuine workplace dialogue on change.

Among the suggestion for changes to legislation to curb the practice were :

  • Tightening up the law around unfair dismissal;
  • Enhancing the requirement and capacity for employment tribunals to scrutinise businesses’ rationale for change in relevant cases;
  • Protecting continuity of employment in fire and rehire scenarios; and
  • Strengthening employers’ consultation obligations around proposed dismissals.

Finally on a personal note, it’s time this shameless, deceitful and cruel practice was stopped and the only people that can do this are the people we put in power to represent us, this Government.

Rodney Sadd


John Elson's Spalding Guardian cartoon (49843087)
John Elson's Spalding Guardian cartoon (49843087)

Speakers supported objectors

Coun Douglas Dickens has taken it upon himself to make comment within Spalding Today about the Milestone Lane planning application (in Pinchbeck). He stated that he was the only parish councillor to support the objectors at a recent meeting.

Having chaired that meeting, I would like to clarify that most, if not all, parish councillors, spoke, all of whom supported the objectors, and the conclusion of the parish council was that our response to South Holland District Council would be one of objection.

James Avery

Chairman of Pinchbeck Parish Council

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: What’s in a Word?

It was 65 years ago. We were homeless; my mother, my sister, and little me, on the brink of my 10th birthday. We were not out on the street, thanks to a wonderful family who took us under their roof. But we needed a place of our own.

Mum scanned the ‘Flats to Let’ column in the local paper. ‘Every advert says the same’, she sighed. “No Irish, no blacks, no children.”

“I’ve got an idea’, she said. “Wash your faces, get ready to do a lot of walking, and keep smiling.” Armed with a street map of North London, we set off. I can still hardly believe what happened that day. At each address my sister and I put on our best angelic smiles; mum knocked on the door; and if it opened she said: “I know your advert says ‘no children’, but I’m sure you weren’t thinking of children like mine!”

Doors were slammed; angry voices sent us away. But at last a lady in a scruffy terraced house in Tufnell Park looked us over and said: “I suppose you’ll do.”

It was a modest flat. The sofa was our bed by night. There was no bathroom. The toilet was a cubicle in the kitchen. But it was home!

We got lucky. But imagine the heartache of families lured to England by promises of jobs and money, and finding only bigoted hatred.

“No Irish, no blacks, no children.” Two thirds of that slogan would be blatantly illegal today. The Law can change many things, but it cannot change hearts. The foul stench of racism has been horribly evident this summer. Those who contribute to the incessant flow of filth on social media, or who justify prejudice with the pitiful prefix: “I’m not a racist but...” should remember the solemn words of Jesus Christ. “Everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”

Empty hearts speak empty words. Hearts full of love speak words full of love. Simple, isn’t it?

Steve Weatherly-Barton

Gosberton Baptist Church

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