Why Will The ‘Seafarers Wages Bill’ Not Bridge The Gaps


The legal gaps that allowed P&O Ferries and its CEO Peter Hebblethwaite to trample on work rights and resulted in the firing of 786 sailors last year are still open, according to the UK government, as reported by Hellenic Shipping.

Government action 

P&O Ferries failed to inform the flag nations of the affected vessels in advance of the dismissals and declined to consult employees through their trade unions.

Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson said: ‘If the government is serious about ensuring another P&O Ferries cannot happen again, more action needs to be taken.’

‘Whilst we are pleased to see the government pass primary legislation to ensure seafarers on vessels calling regularly at UK ports are paid at least the UK national minimum wage, this cannot be the sum-total of government action.’

‘In the immediate aftermath of P&O Ferries mass-sacking the government committed to a nine-point plan, including the creation of national minimum wage corridors between the UK and neighbouring countries. We are keen to see delivery on this commitment as it is central to tackling the race to the bottom that the actions of P&O Ferries and others have turbocharged.’

‘The government must close all the legal loopholes exposed by P&O Ferries’ actions and ensure safe rostering patterns and crewing levels are included in a bilateral agreement with neighbouring countries. We look forward to continuing to work with the government to ensure ambition will be met with action.’

Seafarers Wages Bill

The “Seafarers Wages Bill” was approved by the House of Commons on February 7 during its third reading; it is now anticipated to obtain royal assent and become law.

The bill is a part of the government’s response to P&O Ferries’ mass termination of 786 sailors in March 2022, which has been called one of the worst days in the nation’s recent maritime history. Nearly the entire British maritime crew of P&O Ferries was abruptly fired, and they were replaced by agency employees hired from abroad, some of whom were paid less than the UK minimum wage while performing tours of duty that Nautilus International deemed to be risky.


Did you subscribe to our newsletter?

It’s free! Click here to subscribe!

Source: Hellenic Shipping


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.