Ferries: Minimum Wage

Department for Transport written question – answered on 31st July 2019.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations he has received from unions on UK registered ferry operators paying staff less than the Minimum Wage.

Photo of Nusrat Ghani Nusrat Ghani Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)

I have received several representations from unions on staff being paid less than the Minimum Wage on ferries operating from the UK on specific routes, including those being operated by UK registered operators. The vessels are operating domestic and international destinations. Where specific vessels have been referenced by the unions these were not registered on the UK ship register.

The current legislation applies to all seafarers working in the UK internal waters and who is a worker as per the definition in the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. It also applies to those working outside the internal waters if they are working on a UK registered vessel and are ordinarily resident in the UK and some of their work is in the UK. Seafarers who are not resident in the UK and are working outside the UK internal waters are not covered by the legislation. The proposed amendments will extend the protections of the National Minimum Wage Act to all seafarers working domestically in the UK territorial waters on all vessels.

If a seafarer is entitled to the Minimum Wage than this should be raised immediately with the HMRC enforcement team. Every complaint made is considered by HMRC for investigation.

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