To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of 27 April 2021, Official Report, column 86WH, on the Government's policy on the inappropriate use by some employers of fire and rehire as a negotiation tactic, what steps their Department has taken to (a) investigate and (b) discourage the use of fire and rehire negotiation tactics by their Department's executive non-departmental public bodies; and what steps they have taken to communicate the Government's policy on those practices to those bodies.
19 July 2021
My Department has a number of small NDPBs who are mostly resourced by Civil Servants on secondment from the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) and follow NICS policies and guidelines. There has not been any inappropriate use of “fire and rehire” as secondment arrangements are regularly reviewed and staff return to their NICS department at the end of their secondments. The Northern Ireland Office is not the employer and is therefore not in a position to “fire and rehire” as part of any negotiations. For the very small number of instances where NDPBs are not resourced by NICS staff, the employees are not employed as civil servants but the NDPB follows NICS terms and conditions.