Boris Johnson accuses P&O Ferries of breaking the law with ‘ruthless’ mass layoffs Business

Boris Johnson has accused P&O Ferries of breaking the law during last week’s mass layoffs, but played down the possibility of the government directly suing the operator.

The Prime Minister denounced the “insensitive” nature of the redundancies, when 800 seafarers were dismissed without notice or consultation.

However, instead of saying the government would issue a challenge, it encouraged workers to take action under the Jobs Act 1996.

The comments, made during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, followed P&O chief Peter Hebblethwaite apologizing for the way last Thursday’s layoffs were handled.

“I would like to apologize to those affected and their families for the impact this has had on them, as well as to the 2,200 people who still work for P&O and who will have been asked many difficult questions at this time. topic,” Mr. Hebblethwaite said.

“Over the past week I have spoken face to face with sailors and their partners. They have lost their jobs and there is anger and shock, and I completely understand.”

However, the P&O chief defended the need to make seafarers redundant and replace them with agency staff who unions said were being paid as little as £1.80 an hour.

“We needed fundamental change to make us viable. It was an incredibly difficult decision that we struggled with, but once we knew it was the only way to save the business, we had to act,” Mr Hebblethwaite said.

“All other routes have led to the closure of P&O Ferries. I wish there was another way and I’m sorry.”

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This notice was published: 2022-03-23 12:31:41

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