Andrea London commented in the Guardian on how Brexit relates to the decision of P&O Ferries to sack all 800 crew members across its entire fleet:
“Andrea London, a partner in law firm Winckworth Sherwood’s employment team, said Brexit was a “red herring”. She said the EU collective redundancies directive was implemented in the UK by a primary act of parliament which “gold-plated” (went beyond) the EU legislation, adding: “Given its longevity and trade union backing, it is firmly entrenched in the UK employment law environment, and there inevitably would be considerable opposition to any repeal or paring back of the protections in this act due to leaving the EU.”
Andrea also discussed jurisdictional issues for P&O Ferries with Raconteur:
” The company claims the mass sacking was necessary to cut costs and keep the business viable. It plans to replace the dismissed employees with cheaper agency workers, some of which the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) alleges are being paid $2.38 (£1.80) an hour.
Although this figure is well below minimum wage for British workers, it is possible that its ships are registered in countries outside the UK. This would mean that UK legislation may not apply to any such migrant workers engaged from other countries, according to Winckworth Sherwood employment lawyer Andrea London. ”
“Our employment laws are generally considered to be fairly comprehensive, although it is well known that other European countries – particularly France and Spain – have substantially more employee-protective legislation,” she says. “It is not the fitness of the law here which is in issue, but the fact that P&O Ferries has determined to entirely disregard it.”