Britain’s P&O Ferries in Hot Water After Illegal Mass Layoffs


When a British ferry company suddenly axed 800 employees at no notice, lawmakers across both sides of the political divide lambasted the company for egregiously violating British labor law. P&O Ferries, which was planning to replace its workers with much cheaper contract labor, claimed it was forced to make such a drastic move in order to protect its business, which was mired in financial loss. This case asks students to discuss P&O’s decision to break the law by imposing the layoffs and to advise on the company’s next steps as it faces the repercussions.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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