Fisheries: Older Workers

Department for Transport written question – answered on 25 May 2023.

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Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential impact of the medical fitness certificate on fisherman aged over 50.

Photo of Richard Holden Richard Holden Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Aviation, Maritime and Security) at the Department for Transport, recently met with The Right Honourable Mark Spencer MP, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This meeting was to discuss the implementation of the medical certification requirement of the Work in Fishing Convention for those in the sector more broadly, as well as the medical fitness of those aged fifty and over.

Those working in the industry are assessed on their medical fitness, not their age, and there is no upper age limit for medical certification. Fishing remains one of the most dangerous professions in the UK, the risk level of commercial fishing in the UK is estimated to be 100 times greater than the general workforce. Medical certification ensures people don’t put themselves, their crewmates or those who have to rescue them at unnecessary risk. Extensive grandfathered protection for those working in the sector, and, to date, none have been prevented from fishing as a result of certification.

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