UK Crewing Agent Guilty of Withholding Seafarers’ Pay

A Liverpool court has found a director of a crewing agent operating in the UK guilty of withholding approximately £21,000 in pay from four seafarers. The court in Liverpool ordered the director of a UK Crewing Agency, to pay fines and costs totalling £3,015. The crewing director, who admitted the offences, was prosecuted by the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate following an investigation into claims of non-payment of wages. The UK Crewing Agency has now gone into liquidation.

One seafarer who failed to receive the pay he was due said: “The vast majority of crewing agencies are really great folks to work with, but seafarers must be cogent, that, as in other industries which are perhaps better highlighted, there are those who are less scrupulous or downright dishonest. Employees in shipping are particularly vulnerable due to the international aspects of the industry with offshore contracts.”

“Outfits like this cause nothing but misery for the seafarers they cheat”, commented Nautilus/ITF inspector for Liverpool and north west UK ports Tommy Molloy.

“We are used to hearing of such agents operating outside of good practice and in some cases outside of the law in some other countries but this case shows that they can just as easily be operating in the UK. We had hoped that a successful employment tribunal and prosecution by the UK authorities might have put paid to this person’s involvement in the maritime sector but we are informed that she has set up a “recruitment programme” in Bulgaria.”

Source: ITF

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