6 MAY 2022
BCO HONOURS LONDON’S
Six London workplaces have been recognised at the annual British Council for
O ices’ (BCO) Regional Awards.
The awards recognise the highest quality developments in the Capital, which
are setting the standard for excellence in the o ice sector across the UK.
The winning workplaces include:
• 80 Charlotte Street (Commercial
• Plumtree Court, 25 Shoe Lane
• Dojo, The Brunel Building, 2 Canalside
Walk (Fit Out of Workplace)
• ASOS HQ, Greater London House
• Pennybank , 33-35 St John’s Square
(Projects up to 1,500m2)
• 1 Triton, 1 Triton Square, Regent’s Place (Innovation)
Highly Commended workplaces:
• 1 Triton, 1 Triton Square, Regent’s Place
(Highly Commended – Refurbished/Recycled Workplace)
London winners will now compete with those from other regions at the BCO
National Awards in October 2022.
THE P&O CASE AND
WHAT IT COULD
MEAN FOR FUTURE
REFORM OF THE LAW
Greg Burgess, partner in the
employment law team at DMH Stallard
The sackings by P&O of 800 staff without consultation and
the bringing in of agency staff from overseas on lower hourly
rates has caused a media storm and signifi cant political
condemnation. The question that arises is whether it was
lawful of P&O to ‘fi re and rehire’.
The backdrop for the P&O case is of a business under huge
fi nancial pressure. With huge COVID-related losses, and a
pension scheme in defi cit, in an industry with tight margins
anyway, it came as little surprise that drastic action was
needed to save the business.
Most employers making large-scale redundancies in the
UK must consult with their staff or the unions for at least
30 or 45 days, depending on how many redundancies they
are making. P&O used a loophole in the law that applies
to staff on foreign-registered ships, which meant that
strictly speaking they did not have to follow the UK rules on
That meant P&O could make hundreds of their staff
redundant by a pre-recorded video message on 17 March 2022
without the consultation required under UK law. P&O say that
they have compensated their staff for this lack of consultation.
Employers have been able to fi re and rehire staff under
UK law for many years. It is a relatively common tool in an
employer’s armoury, although it should usually only be used
as a last resort.
Typically, an employer will want to persuade staff to agree
to a change in their terms and conditions, such as a change
in benefi ts or a pay reduction if the business is in fi nancial
diffi culty. If staff agree, then the change can be made. We saw
a lot of this during the COVID crisis, where staff were agreeing
to often signifi cant pay cuts just to keep their jobs. But if
staff do not agree then the employer can consider forcing the
We have seen scenarios where an FM business has inherited
groups of staff under TUPE from diff erent contracts and a few
years later they want to bring staff on to the same terms and
conditions. Persuading them to agree to move on to new terms
and conditions can be a challenge. In such circumstances, the
business may serve notice on their staff to terminate their
employment and off er them a new employment contract on
new terms immediately after their notice period runs out. This
is an area where employers do need to tread carefully, but it is
With there being such a strong outcry about the actions of
P&O there is now talk of the government bringing in new
legislation to crack down on this. In fact, new guidance was
published only last year to deal with fi re and rehire. The
government’s advisory service ACAS published new guidance
in November 2021 which encourages employers to make every
eff ort to get staff to agree to changes before resorting to fi re
and rehire. That guidance did not take us much further.
In late March 2022, shortly after the P&O redundancies
were announced, the government confi rmed it was going to
introduce a new statutory code of practice, which will set
out practical steps employers must follow to ensure they are
meaningfully consulting with their staff .
The risk of a failure to follow the code leading to an increase
in compensation for the individual of up to 25 per cent will
deter some employers, but the reality is that UK employers
need to have the ability to reshape their organisation and
change terms to ensure they retain their competitiveness,
particularly in industries such as travel and FM where
margins are typically tight.
CIWM RESPONDS TO DEFRA’S
PROPOSALS TO TACKLE WASTE CRIME
CIWM, the leading professional
body for the resource and waste
management sector, has published
its formal response to Defra’s
(Department for Environment,
Food and Rural A airs) two recent
high-profile consultations to tackle
The first was on the reform of the
waste carrier, broker, dealer registration
system (CBD) in England. The current
system requires any person or business that transports waste, buys and sells waste, or
arranges the transportation of waste in England to be registered with the Environment
Agency as a waste carrier, broker or dealer.
The Independent Review into Serious and Organised Crime in the Waste Sector in
2018 highlighted “the extent to which waste is handled by an increasing number of,
o en opaque, intermediaries” and recommended that “Registration and duty of care
requirements for carriers, brokers and dealers should be reformed’. This consultation
sought feedback on Defra’s proposals designed to ensure that controlled waste in
England is moved or traded by permitted and technically competent operators.
The second of these consultations was on the introduction of mandatory digital waste
tracking. Currently, over 200 million tonnes of waste is produced in the UK each year but
there is currently no single or comprehensive way of tracking it from cradle-to-grave. The
ability to collect and collate large amounts of data will make it much easier for legitimate
waste companies to comply with regulator reporting requirements whilst at the same
time making it harder for rogue operators to do business and distort the market.
In general, CIWM has welcomed Defra’s proposals and remarked that they were taking a
step in the right direction.
Lee Marshall, Policy & External A airs Director of CIWM commented: “We hope that
these proposals, if enacted, will be accompanied by enough funding that will allow the
regulators to make the most of these new tools, so that they can further clamp down on
waste crime. However, the CIWM was disappointed to note that the proposals for Carriers,
Brokers and Dealers did not cover the whole of the UK.”
The full CIWM response to both Defra’s proposals can be found at https://www.ciwm.
NEWS & ANALYSIS FMJ.CO.UK