This week, the UK government has today introduced new legislation to make sure seafarers get paid at least equivalent to the UK National Minimum Wage.

The government are closing a loophole that allowed seafarers who work on vessels that regularly serve UK ports, to be paid below an equivalent to the UK National Minimum Wage for the simple fact that the vessel operates an international service.

Following P&O Ferries’ decision to dismiss eight hundred loyal and hardworking workers without consultation or notice, the government took immediate action to begin changing the law on seafarer pay protection.

The changes mean that thousands of seafarers regularly entering the UK will receive fairer pay, putting the UK ahead of every EU state in its pay protections.

The Seafarers’ Wages Bill – introduced in the House of Lords on the 6th of July, enables port authorities to deny access to services calling regularly at UK ports who do not pay their workers equivalent rate to the UK National Minimum Wage for time spent in UK waters – closing a legal loophole which was exploited by P&O Ferries.

The key changes therefore are:

  • new pay protection laws on minimum wage for thousands of seafarers regularly entering UK waters
  • laws will prevent firms undercutting fair pay for seafarers by using legal loopholes to pay low wages
  • government publishes response to the consultation on Seafarers’ Wages Bill

Further details can be found here:

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