Ports respond to Secretary of State announcement on minimum wage rules in the ferry sector

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Following the government announcement about minimum wages in the ferry sector, a package responding to the P&O Ferries redundancy situation made by Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, the British Ports Association has welcomed moves to discuss minimum wage improvements in the ferry industry but suggested that ports were not the vehicle to enforce such rules.

Responding to the Secretary of State’s announcement, Richard Ballantyne the CEO of the British Ports Association (BPA), the national trade body for ports and harbours which represents all of the UK’s s main ferry ports, said that “while it’s right the government and the ferry industry look to improve employment rules and standards, the expectation that port authorities will need to enforce minimum wage rules in the shipping sector could be unworkable”.

“This will place ports in a difficult legal predicament, especially before any legislation is in place.

“The ports industry is genuinely sympathetic towards the situation of the impacted seafarers, however we would suggest that ports are not the competent authorities to enforce rules on employee salaries or working conditions in the shipping industry. We are concerned that the government is rushing to find a solution without considering the wider implications in the maritime sector.

“However, we look forward to working with the Department for Transport and the Maritime Coastguard Agency as well as our partners in the ferry industry to help overcome the current challenges that have been brought into stark focus over recent weeks.”

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