Ferries that dock at British ports will be forced to pay crew at least the UK minimum wage, according to new legislation announced in the Queen’s Speech.
P&O has been reported as paying some workers a basic rate of just £3.94 an hour, less than half the national living wage of £9.50 for people aged 23 and above. The disgraced company resumed sailings from ports across the UK less than a month after admitting it acted illegally when it sacked almost 800 workers in March.
From just £3 per week
“We will protect all seafarers regularly sailing in and out of UK ports and ensure they are not priced out of a job. Ferry operators that regularly call at UK ports will face consequences if they do not pay their workers fairly,” said transport secretary Grant Shapps.
“P&O Ferries’ disgraceful actions do not represent the principles of our world-leading maritime sector and changing the law on seafarer pay protection is a clear signal to everyone that we will not tolerate economic abuse of workers.”
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Titled The Harbours (Seafarers’ Remuneration) Bill, the legislation will see the creation of “minimum wage corridors” on ferry routes between the UK and other countries.