Richard Burden – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Transport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Richard Burden on 2016-01-26.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the working group conducting the Post Implementation Review of the Equality Act 2010 (Work on Ships and Hovercraft) Regulations 2011 will make recommendations on the enforcement of the National Minimum Wage for seafarers employed on (a) UK and (b) non-UK registered vessels.

Mr Robert Goodwill

Although the working group had considered looking at National Minimum Wage (NMW) enforcement it was quickly recognised by all members of the group that due to international law this is a very complex area and that it would be more beneficial to discuss in a separate forum. It has been agreed in principle to convene a cross government and social partners working group to look at the application of national minimum wage in regard to seafarers. As the Department responsible for NMW legislation, this would be led by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The working group has reviewed the existing guidance produced by BIS for seafarers and it is expected that revised guidance, taking into account recommendations of the group, will be published in Spring 2016. The Nautilus Telegraph will also publicise the revised guidance. This is a respected publication produced by the officer’s union Nautilus International but widely read by all seafarer ranks.

I also understand from officials at RMT that they have recently had positive discussions with my Right Honourable Friend, the Minister of State for Skills and Equalities on the application of NMW to seafarers.