Spinnaker Cautions Shipping Employers Over Foreign Workers' Rights

Tuesday, November 27, 2001
Maritime recruitment specialist, Spinnaker Consulting has warned shipping firms that they could face legal action if they do not apply UK standards to foreign workers. Overseas workers who spend some working time in the UK qualify for the same employment protection rights as resident UK workers.

Writing in the latest issue of Changing Course, Spinnaker's monthly e-mail newsletter, managing director Phil Parry says, "A London employment tribunal ruled last month that foreign workers can claim rights under English employment law if they have spent some of their time working in the UK. This will undoubtedly affect some shipping employers."

The decision arises out of legal changes made in 1999 implementing an EU directive on the posting of workers. Workers need no longer 'ordinarily' work in the UK to qualify for protection under the Employment Rights Act 1996, and the Sex Discrimination Act of 1986 now applies in all cases unless a person works wholly outside Britain.

Parry says, "To avoid legal action, shipping employers should ensure that they apply the same employment standards to their overseas workers spending some of their time working in the UK as they do to those ordinarily resident and working in the UK."

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