View Full Version : Temporary arrangements for non-European fishermen

Davie Tait
3rd March 2010, 19:57

01 March 2010

If you currently employ fishermen from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), you are reminded that the new concession to allow applicants to work on fishing vessels operating within the 12-mile limit starts today.

The concession application period will run for three months, ending on 31 May 2010, and the number of successful applicants is limited to 1,500. Applications can be made within the UK, by post, or at visa issuing posts worldwide. Those who qualify will be permitted to take employment for a period up to 18 months, subject to the terms of the employment contract, up to 1 September 2011.

Victoria Bowman, deputy director of the UK Border Agency in Scotland and Northern Ireland, said:

'We have been working with the fishing industry and other interested parties to develop this concession. The UK government is clear that there must be fair and safe conditions for workers coming into the UK to work in the fishing industry. The health and safety of crew members is of paramount importance to employers of these fishermen.'

A number of criteria apply to the concession, including:

* the concession applies only to employment on fishing vessels operating in UK waters, not to any other kind of vessel and not to fishing vessels which operate wholly in international waters outside the 12-mile limit;
* the applicant must currently be employed, or have been employed during a period 12 months prior to their application, on a fishing vessel operating in the UK;
* the applicant must provide various identity documents, details of vessels, employment contracts and accommodation;
* any crew member working on a vessel that operates in both domestic and international waters but spending more than 30 per cent of their time in UK territorial waters must apply for the concessionary visa. If we come across people working in domestic waters, it will be the skipper's obligation to prove that they spend less than 30 per cent of their time in UK territorial waters.

After the application period closes on 31 May 2010, any non-EEA crew members who have not obtained the correct visa must not be employed, and must return to their home country.

Enforcement action will be taken where a breach is uncovered, and crew found to be employed illegally will be dealt with as immigration offenders. Employers face fines of up to £10,000 per employee under the UK Border Agency's civil penalty scheme. In addition, they may be prosecuted under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, which carries a maximum custodial sentence of two years and an unlimited fine.

For more information about the new concession, see the Contract seamen (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/othercategories/contract-seaman/) section of this website.

Davie Tait
3rd March 2010, 20:05
I did catch a bit of this in the local paper , something about having to pay them the minimum wage ( means 42hr working week , usually 8:30am-5pm-4:30friday , then overtime at time and a half monday to friday and double time at weekends with ALL of the bullshyte paperwork that is involved as well , in triplicate as well if my civil service time is anything to go by ) meaning the philipinos will end up earning more money a week than most of the crew even though they don't take a watch !!!

The skippers will have to pay for shore accommodation as well going by the Press and Journal coverage as well.

Looks like its everything as normal for the boats working outside the 12nm limit though so this will affect all of the inshore boats that carry philipinos and I'm pretty sure this is an attempt to force them out of the country or force the inshore fleet out of existence ( or both if they can knowing this bunch of idiots in Westminster )

Yet more regulation where it isn't needed or wanted... another attempt to destroy the industry yet again :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Davie Tait
3rd March 2010, 20:08

Temporary rule change requires Employers to offer fair pay and conditions to migrant workers
New deal restores right of Scottish fleet to hire Filipinos

By David Perry

Published: 01/03/2010

Filipino crew are to be allowed to continue working on Scottish fishing boats under an arrangement that takes effect today.

The concession will last only 18 months, however, and is subject to crew being paid the minimum wage, the cost of flights home and proper accommodation. It follows the deaths of two Filipinos and a Latvian crew member in a fire aboard the Vision II at Fraserburgh two years ago and a crackdown by the UK Border Agency on the use of foreign crew – a move owners claimed would prevent boats putting to sea.

The new rules, which apply to up to 1,500 non-Europeans working within the UK 12-mile limit, were welcomed by Aberdeen North Labour MP Frank Doran following a campaign he mounted against their exploitation.

There was evidence some were employed on contracts issued in their home countries with pay as low as £196 a month and negligible employment rights.

He said he was delighted at the Border Agency’s action, which he said would end exploitation. “In future, these fishermen will be entitled to the minimum wage, proper accommodation and costs of repatriation, in addition to all the normal employment rights of anyone else working in this country,” he said.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “We thank the UK Border Agency on being flexible on this matter. There would have been a problem if there was a withdrawal of all Filipinos, or all people from outside the EU, working in the fishing industry in Scotland.”

Western Isles SNP MP Angus MacNeil – who has been pressing for a rethink on the ban on all migrant crew because of its effect on the Hebridean fleet – praised the agency for “listening to measured argument” and said the outcome “means boats can continue fishing”.

He predicted agreement on a more permanent arrangement before the present arrangement expires.