The government has cut ties with troubled P&O Ferries after the company sacked nearly 800 workers without notice.
In light of the mass redundancies back in March, the Home Office said a contract between UK Border Force and P&O Ferries would be cancelled “with immediate effect”.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “In response to P&O Ferries’ unacceptable behaviour, Border Force has terminated its agreement with P&O to provide contingency travel services to juxtaposed ports with immediate effect.”
It comes after the Department for Transport also scrapped a deal with the ferry company following a review of government involvement with the embattled firm.
“We’re reforming maritime law to stop firms exploiting legal loopholes and protect workers’ rights,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted.
P&O has new crews on all its vessels, though many roles are paid below the UK minimum wage – an issue the government has promised to resolve through new legislation.
The sackings had led to widespread condemnation and calls for the resignation of P&O boss Peter Hebblethwaite.
Following the move, Mr Shapps told Mr Hebblethwaite his reputation was “in tatters”, and his “position as chief executive, and indeed as a company director, has become untenable”.
The chief executive has since apologised, but has remained in his job.
His company is currently under criminal and civil investigation by the government’s business misconduct watchdog.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed in April that the Insolvency Service – which is part of his department – had decided to launch a formal investigation into “the circumstances surrounding the recent redundancies made by P&O Ferries”.
P&O’s vessels have subsequently failed numerous safety checks – with a number being prevented from sailing.
In early May, the company was told that the Pride of Kent could resume sailings between Dover and Calais after passing a safety inspection at the fourth attempt.