The UK government has scrapped a contract with P&O
Ferries over its firing of nearly 800 workers without notice earlier this year.
According to the Home Office, an agreement between the ferry
company and the UK Border Force would end “with immediate effect”. The contract
saw P&O operate contingency travel services to transport border staff to
so-called juxtaposed ports in northern France if there was an issue with the
P&O Ferries came under scrutiny in March when it made
nearly 800 staff members redundant with no notice, replacing them with foreign
agency workers who are paid less than the UK’s minimum wage. Its ferry services
were suspended after several of its vessels failed safety inspections.
CEO Peter Hebblethwaite, who has faced calls to resign
following the controversy, has insisted the redundancies were necessary to keep
the company going and said all the sacked workers were offered compensation
The firm is under criminal and civil investigations by The
Insolvency Service over the move.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps tweeted that the government
is “reforming maritime law to stop firms exploiting legal loopholes and protect