P&O Ferries’ reputation dealt another blow after English Heritage puts its ties with company on hold
P&O Ferries’ reputation has been dealt another blow after English Heritage put its ties with the company on hold.
The British charity, which issues the famous blue plaques, told The Mail on Sunday that it was ‘pausing and reviewing’ its association. It has already removed details of the relationship from its website.
P&O is the largest operator of ferries from Dover to Calais. But criminal and civil investigations have been launched into the company following its controversial decision to make nearly 800 employees redundant during a pre-recorded Zoom call.
On hold: English Heritage has collaborated with P&O since 2018 as part of a rewards scheme for its members
The company’s chief executive Peter Hebblethwaite admitted to a joint hearing of the Commons’ Business and Transport Committees that his firm failed to consult with trade unions before it ditched workers.
English Heritage has collaborated with P&O since 2018 as part of a rewards scheme for its members. An English Heritage spokesman said: ‘P&O is a Members’ Reward Partner – meaning English Heritage members could enjoy offers and discounts with the company – but given the recent developments, we are pausing and reviewing this partnership.’
The charity, which cares for more than 400 historic sites across the country, has also removed any reference to the partnership from its website.
A webpage that is now missing described P&O Ferries as the ‘perfect choice for a leisurely journey’, and also cited the company’s accreditation with Visit Britain, the brand name of the tourist board of Great Britain.
In a letter sent on Friday to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, the Insolvency Service said it would take ‘prompt and appropriate action’ where the law had not been upheld.
Kwarteng tweeted last week that he and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps would ‘continue to follow this matter closely as the investigations progress’.
The Trades Union Congress general secretary Frances O’Grady said the investigation must not ‘shy away from serious sanctions and big financial penalties’.
‘P&O must not be allowed to get away with its scandalous and unlawful treatment of staff. Firms who behave like corporate gangsters deserve far more than a slap on the wrist,’ she said.
P&O Ferries was contacted for comment.