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HomeMaritimeUK government creates legislation to benefit seafarers

UK government creates legislation to benefit seafarers

On July 7, the United Kingdom government introduced a piece of legislation in the House of Lords that will bring seafarers’ pay up to at least minimum wage.

“Fair pay for seafarers is a must, and the new laws we’ve introduced in Parliament today send a clear signal to operators that the UK will not let seafarers be priced out of their jobs by rogue bosses.” said UK Maritime Minister Robert Courts.

Labor Markets Minister Paul Scully, also commented on the bill.

“Just because someone works out at sea, it doesn’t mean they should be excluded from the protections UK workers receive,” he said. “That’s why we’ve moved at pace to get this Bill across the line, levelling the playing field and ensuring everyone working in UK territorial waters will benefit from the equivalence of the National Minimum Wage.”

Before this new legislation, seafarers who frequently called at UK ports were paid below the minimum wage because they were aboard vessels that operated internationally.

The Seafarers’ Wages Bill, launched in May 2022, comes after P&O Ferries’ fired 800 seafarers without advance notice or union consultation this past March. The workers were then replaced with cheaper, foreign labor, sparking outrage nationwide.

The UK department for transportation (DfT), said that the bill will close the loophole that enabled companies like P&O to underpay its crews.

Under the bill, port authorities will be able to deny access to UK ports to any ship regularly calling at the ports that don’t pay seafarers the UK national minimum wage while they are in UK waters.

The government said it has worked bilaterally with nearby European nations to positively impact thousands of seafarers.



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