Legal and civil investigations have been launched into the choice by P&O Ferries to sack almost 800 employees.
The corporate was extensively criticised for making the seafarers redundant with out discover on 17 March.
Enterprise secretary Kwasi Kwarteng stated the Insolvency Service has began “formal felony and civil investigations”.
The Insolvency Service stated: “Following its inquiries, the Insolvency Service has commenced formal felony and civil investigations into the circumstances surrounding the latest redundancies made by P&O Ferries.
“As these are ongoing investigations, no additional remark or info could be supplied right now.”
P&O Ferries chief government Peter Hebblethwaite advised a joint listening to of the Commons’ enterprise and transport committees that his firm broke the regulation by not consulting with commerce unions earlier than sacking employees.
On Wednesday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps unveiled a bundle of measures in response to the sackings.
They included plans to create “minimal wage corridors” on ferry routes between the UK and different international locations.
He additionally urged UK ports to refuse entry to boats carrying seafarers paid beneath the minimal wage, and requested the Insolvency Service to contemplate disqualifying Mr Hebblethwaite from appearing as an organization director.
Mr Shapps stated: “I welcome the Insolvency Service’s choice to place P&O Ferries beneath felony investigation.
“I’ve referred to as for the P&O chief government to step down after he shamelessly advised Parliament he had knowingly damaged the regulation, and it’s proper the corporate is held to account for its actions.
“The nine-point plan I introduced this week will strengthen seafarers’ employment rights, and my division will totally co-operate with the assessment to make sure maritime employees are protected against something like this occurring once more.”
Rail, Maritime and Transport union common secretary Mick Lynch stated: “There are clear grounds to detain P&O’s ships while felony and civil investigations are accomplished.
“Justice have to be delivered for our members within the face of continued company hostility.”
Mr Hebblethwaite insisted the corporate wouldn’t have survived with out taking the motion it did.
He advised MPs the common pay of the company crew is £5.50 per hour.
That’s beneath the UK’s minimal wage however Mr Hebblethwaite stated that is permitted beneath worldwide maritime legal guidelines.