Despite resolving to close an exploited loophole on ferry worker pay, the government has stopped short of an amendment to UK national minimum wage legislation.
In October 2020, legislative changes extended the minimum wage to most seafarers working on ships in UK waters, regardless of where a ship was registered, but those working on ferries (other than between UK ports) were not included, leaving scope for operators to hire crew on international routes on hourly rates below the UK minimums. In the absence of reasonable minimum wages, ferry operators can gain a competitive advantage by driving down wage levels.
Recent events have drawn attention to this practice, and in an announcement this week, the Transport Secretary set out the government’s plan to address some of the pay issues in response to this.
While recognising that a minimum floor is needed to prevent the competitive driving down of wages, and to ensure appropriate and fair levels of pay for ferry workers, the reality of pay arrangements across international borders is not straightforward.
Continue Reading Ferry workers’ pay is still at sea