UK introduces law to protect rights of workers at sea

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom, on Thursday, introduced a law to improve the conditions of those working at sea as part of a wider plan being implemented in the wake of P&O Ferries sacking nearly 800 staff last year.

“Our maritime sector is world-leading. That’s down to the thousands of hardworking seafarers working tirelessly to maintain supply chains and transport passengers safely across our waters,” said Transport Secretary Mark Harper.

“These workers deserve a fair wage and I’m therefore delighted to see our Seafarers’ Wages Act become law, helping improve pay and protect seafarers from exploitation,” he added.

The government also says it is “taking action against rogue employers using controversial ‘fire and rehire’ practices” in the industry.

It hopes the law will mean thousands of seafarers regularly entering UK waters will “enjoy better pay protections” by boosting rights and preventing firms from using legal loopholes to pay low wages.


The law means those working on international services should be paid at least the UK national minimum wage, currently £9.50 an hour for those aged over 23.

“Last year, P&O Ferries shamelessly sacked nearly 800 staff without notice or consultation,” the government said.

“The UK government has acted swiftly to progress its nine-point plan in response to this disgraceful behaviour,” it added.


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