Date lodged: 19 February 2018
To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the comment at paragraph 197 of the vessel replacement and deployment plan, which was published in January 2018, whether the sub-charter arrangement between Serco NorthLink Ferries and Fortress for the (a) Helliar and (b) Hildasay freight ferry does not affect the employment rights of the crew.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 28 February 2018
Since March 2017, the freight vessels have been chartered on a bareboat basis by CMAL from Fortress. Previously the vessels were chartered on a crewed basis from Seatruck. Since March 2017 CMAL has sub-chartered the vessels to Serco NorthLink Ferries for the duration of the Public Service Contract. At that point of change, the crew members were retained, but are now recruited through a UK-based employment agency. All employees are now paid at least the UK National Minimum Wage.