P&O Ferries faces criminal investigation into sacking of 800 sailors - Financial Times

Jonathan Gorman, Associate in the Russell-Cooke Solicitors, restructuring and insolvency team.
Jonathan Gorman
1 min Read

After P&O Ferries announced it had sacked nearly 800 of its UK-based sailors with no notice last month, the UK's Insolvency Service launched formal criminal and civil investigations into the sackings. 

The sackings appear to have failed to follow the proper process for notifying the authorities, which include the Government and trade unions. Failure to inform the authorities in these cases is a criminal offence and could lead to unlimited fines for both the company and its directors.

There is some uncertainty as to whether these penalties can be applied to the maritime sector, where employers must only inform the authorities in the countries where its ships are registered. P&O Ferries' ships are registered outside the UK.

Speaking with the Financial Times, Russell-Cooke's restructuring and insolvency expert explains that "if it does appear that P&O failed to provide the requisite notice to the secretary of state, then not only could the company face an unlimited fine, but so too could its directors".

The full article is available to read by subscription to the Financial Times, and a pdf copy of the article can be found here.

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