No criminal action to be taken over sacking of P&O Ferries staff says Insolvency Service

The Insolvency Service has announced it will not be taking criminal action against P&O Ferries, after it sacked more than 700 staff without notice or consultation.

The CEO of the company, Peter Hebblethwaite, admitted he had broken the law by not consulting the Unions.

On 17 March 2022, P&O Ferries dismissed 786 employees with immediate effect with plans to replace them with agency staff.

The Insolvency Service was asked by the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy to investigate whether any offences had been committed in relation to the sackings.

An Insolvency Service spokesperson said: “After a full and robust criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the employees who were made redundant by P&O Ferries, we have concluded that we will not commence criminal proceedings.”The service says the case was reviewed by an independent senior prosecution lawyer who concluded there was 'no realistic prospect of a conviction'.

A civil investigation by the Insolvency Service is ongoing.