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January 28, 2015

Ineffective enforcement of National Minimum Wage in UK maritime sector

National Minimum Wage law has not been completely implemented in the UK maritime sector, leaving seafarers with low salaries, a new Maritime Futures report has revealed.

By Samseer M

National Minimum Wage law has not been completely implemented in the UK maritime sector, leaving seafarers with low salaries, a new Maritime Futures report has revealed.

The report has also stated that the government failed to protect UK seafarers and vessels working around the coast from unfair overseas competition.

Prepared by maritime specialists at Cardiff University, the findings were launched in the House of Commons by maritime union RMT.

Ineffective enforcement of minimum wage has occured as crews employed from outside UK are not subject to Britain’s pay legislation.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "We should no longer tolerate shipping companies flying in low-cost seafarers from around the world to work on ships from UK ports for rates of pay as low as £2.25 per hour.

"The maritime industry needs reform in favour of UK-based seafarers, the maritime skills base and the UK register."

"The maritime industry needs reform in favour of UK-based seafarers, the maritime skills base and the UK register."

According to national minimum wage rates, the minimum payment for first year apprentices is £2.73 per hour.

The maritime report also recommended a different approach to minimum wage enforcement as well as reserving jobs on specified routes for UK seafarers on UK-registered ships.

In addition, it argued for a mandatory link between tonnage tax and ratings training and support for travel and accommodation costs from shore-based training for UK ratings.

RMT National Secretary Steve Todd said: "Our seafarers are ageing and the next generation of seafarers, ratings and officers is not being trained.

"This report provides government and the industry with the tools to provide some balance and stability to seafarer recruitment, something which has been missing from the industry for decades but is absolutely essential to our national economic health."

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