P&O Ferries under criminal investigation over sacking of crew

The ferry operator fired 786 seafarers, replaced them with agency staff and suspended all of its services on Thursday, March 17.

P&O Ferries under criminal investigation over sacking of nearly 800 workers iStock
The ferry operator suspended all of its services on Thursday, March 17.

P&O Ferries is under criminal investigation over its allegedly illegal sacking of nearly 800 crew members.

The ferry operator fired 786 seafarers, replaced them with agency staff and suspended all of its services on Thursday, March 17.

Transport minister Grant Shapps announced: “The Insolvency Service has reviewed P&O Ferries’ actions and placed it under criminal investigation for its actions.”

It comes after the company’s chief executive Peter Hebblethwaite admitted to MPs that failing to consult unions over the decision to sack hundreds of workers on the spot broke the law.

“Peter Hebblethwaite stood before MPs and admitted to breaking the law, and his actions must now be scrutinised,” Shapps said.

A spokesperson for The Insolvency Service said: “Following its enquiries, the Insolvency Service has commenced formal criminal and civil investigations into the circumstances surrounding the recent redundancies made by P&O Ferries.

“As these are ongoing investigations, no further comment or information can be provided at this time.”

More to follow…