The UK government has published its Seafarers’ Wages Bill – a document aimed at ensuring seafarers spending substantial time in UK waters are paid an equivalent to the national minimum wage.

The bill is part of the Department of Transport’s nine-point plan to address the issues arising from P&O Ferries’ mass sacking of staff earlier this year, as HLPFI reported here.   

Tim Morris, ceo of UK Major Ports Group, said the association has “engaged extensively with the government in the development of the Seafarers’ Wages Bill. We’re pleased to see some of our key concerns taken on board, such as the difficulties of ports policing seafarers’ wages and some aspects of focusing scope”.  

“There remain some concerning aspects of detail – such as ports being responsible for setting surcharge levels. We will be continuing to work closely with the government on the implementation of this and other elements of the nine-point plan to set good standards for UK seafarers.”

Vessels that call in the UK more than 120 times a year would be subject to the requirements. The bill is currently with the House of Lords and is in the second-read stage.