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Centrica and GMB questioned on the impact of Covid-19 on the labour market

27 January 2021

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee examines issues such as unemployment, skills, ‘fire and rehire’ and mass redundancies, workers’ rights and employment conditions, the gig-economy, and insecure work. This session will also feed into the Committee’s overarching work for its Post-Pandemic Economic Growth inquiry.


Tuesday 2 February 2021, virtual meeting

At 10.30am

  • Chris O’Shea, Chief Executive Officer, Centrica
  • Justin Bowden, National Officer, GMB

At 11.15am

  • Tim Sharp, Policy Officer, Rights, International, Social and Economics department, Trades Union Congress
  • Mike Brewer, Chief Economist and Deputy Chief Executive, Resolution Foundation
  • Rob Joyce, Deputy Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • Matthew Taylor, Good Work Review

The evidence hearing comes ahead of potential future Committee work examining aspects of the Government’s Employment Bill, promised in the Queen’s Speech, and following up on the earlier work of the independent review of modern working practices by Matthew Taylor.

Chair's comments

Darren Jones, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee said:

“Businesses and workers have had a very tough time over the last year. Over 800,000 people have lost their jobs since the pandemic took hold and there are very real fears that many more people will face the same bleak fate over the coming months.

There is no doubt that many businesses have faced difficult trading conditions, but concerns have been raised that some employers are resorting to tactics such as ‘fire and rehire’ and seeking to downgrade pay and workers’ terms during the pandemic.

“It’s important we begin to understand the long-term impact for workers from the Covid pandemic, examining how we can improve future employment legislation to ensure the protection of workers, including those working the ‘gig-economy’, and also ensure we modernise the labour market to foster future jobs growth.”

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright