Seafarers’ Wages Bill Report Stage

The House voted on amendments to the Seafarers’ Wages Bill on Tuesday 7 February 2023. The Bill makes provision on the remuneration of seafarers who do not qualify for the national minimum wage. There were 3 votes on amendments proposed: 

New Clause 2 would require the government to publish a report on the implementation and monitoring of the measures contained in the Bill.

(2) The report must include—

(a) an assessment of the impact of this Act on—

(i) roster patterns,

(ii) pensions, and

(iii) wages of seafarers;

(b) a statement as to whether further legislation will be introduced by the Government as a result of the findings of the assessment under paragraph (a);

(c) a strategy for engaging with trade unions for the purposes of monitoring the implementation of this Act, including in reference to conventions of the International Labour Conference;

(d) a strategy for monitoring the establishment of minimum wage corridor agreements with international partners of the United Kingdom, insofar as any such agreement ensures that any non-qualifying seafarer is remunerated for UK work at a rate that is equal to or exceeds the rate that would otherwise be required under this Act;

(e) an assessment of the interaction between this Act and existing international agreements or international maritime law, including reference to any litigation that has arisen as a result of this Act.

(3) The report must be laid before each House of Parliament.

I voted in favour but the amendemnt not passed, Ayes: 215, Noes: 274.

New Clause 4 would add personal liability for directors of companies over non-compliance with minimum wage rules including the use of disqualification orders.

(1) A director of a company operating a service to which this Act applies (the “operator”) commits an offence where the operator has committed an offence under—

(a) section 5(1); or

(b) section 6(5)

of this Act.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable—

(a) on conviction on indictment, to a fine, or

(b) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.

(3) Where a person is guilty of an offence under subsection (1), the court may make a disqualification order against that person if that person is registered as a director of any company registered in the United Kingdom.

(4) The maximum period of disqualification under subsection (3) is 15 years.

I voted in favour of this amendment which was not passed, Ayes: 210, Noes: 278.

Amendment 24 would make the Bill apply to boats entering harbour on at least 52 occasions during a relevant year. 

Amendment proposed: 24, page 2, line 5, leave out “120” and insert “52”.

I voted in favour of this Motion, which was not passed, Ayes: 213, Noes: 283.

The Bill will now move to its next stage.