If a seafarer wishes to enforce a right transposed from the Social Partners’ Agreement (SPA), he or she may do so under the MLC complaints procedures.
It is expected that only when the onboard complaints procedure on the seafarer’s ship has been followed and the seafarer considers their complaint has still not been resolved satisfactorily should the on-shore complaints procedure be used.
The MLC makes provision for seafarers or other interested parties to make a complaint alleging a breach of the requirements of the Convention (including seafarers’ rights) to an authorised officer.
Complaints may be raised by seafarers on UK ships, where MCA is the certifying authority, or by seafarers on non-UK ships in UK ports.
Such complaints will be investigated by the MCA and may lead to an inspection, which will be limited to the scope of the complaint. However if there is evidence which indicates that the ship may not be compliant with the MLC the MCA may widen the scope of the inspection.
The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 requires that shore-based welfare facilities are easily accessible.
The Merchant Navy Welfare Board is the umbrella charity for the welfare of seafarers and their dependents in the UK, including supporting the Port Welfare Committees which promote welfare activities locally. The MCA takes an active interest in the work of this welfare sector.
Trainees engaged through an approved training provider on a UK ship ay have an employment agreement with the approved training provider rather than the shipowner
The shipowner’s name and address must be shown on the agreement. Instead of “wages”, information about the training bursary should be included, including amount, method and frequency of payment
MLC standards in compliance with UK regulations are required for all other provisions such as hours of work, repatriation, social protection (including medical care) provided to the seafarer, information about disciplinary, grievance and complaints procedures. Terms for termination of the agreement must be provided.
Shipowners are required to provide seafarers with medical care on board ship. This includes the provision of medical stores and crew trained in first aid and medical care.
Where seafarers require medical treatment not available on board, they have the right to go ashore for treatment in ports of call, where reasonably practicable.
Where seafarers suffer illness or injury on board, or arising from the work on board, shipowners must also meet the costs of medical care until the seafarer recovers or is declared permanently unfit, for a period of up to 16 weeks.
To protect the crew in rough sea conditions:
(i) handrails should be provided in passageways and stairways
(ii) fixed furniture should be strongly secured;
(iii) means to secure portable furniture;
(iv) doors, including those to cupboards and other items of furniture, should be so secured as not to open accidentally;
(v) drawers should be so designed as not to slide open and fall out accidentally;
(vi) tables, shelves, stowage racks fitted with retaining lips or bars or with non-slip surfaces so that objects placed on them will not slide off.
Shipowner liability following the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention (2006) MLC, in connection with:
The loss or foundering of the ship after which two months wages are due.
Seafarer Employment Agreements (SEA) to provide compensation in the event of death or long term disability to seafarers arising from occupational injury, illness or hazard. It is expected that in the overwhelming majority of cases this will take the form of an insurance or policy. This will also cover liability for burial/cremation costs.
The MLC Minimum Requirements Regulations do not however apply to the following categories of vessels:-
(a) pleasure vessels
(b) fishing vessels
(c) ships of traditional build
(d) warships or naval auxiliaries
(e) vessels not ordinarily engaged in commercial activities
With the exception of warships, which are not subject to Merchant Shipping legislation,
employers of seafarers on these ships will remain subject to the Merchant Shipping (Repatriation) Regulations 1979 (SI 1979/97).
I RECOMMEND A FULL READING OF THE ABOVE M-NOTICE FOR MASTER 500gt AND ABOVE.
a) all seafarers are to be paid for their work regularly; at not greater than monthly intervals; and in full in accordance with their Seafarer Employment Agreement;
(b) interest of 20% per annum is payable to a seafarer in the event that a shipowner, without reasonable cause, fails to make payment of that seafarer’s wages on the due date;.
(c) all seafarers are to be given a monthly account of the payments due to them showing amounts paid, including wages, additional payments and the rate of exchange used where payment has been made in a currency or at a rate different from the one agreed to;
(d) all shipowners are to provide seafarers with a means to transmit all or part of their earnings to their families or dependents or legal beneficiaries. The charges for this service are to be reasonable in amount and to be at the prevailing market rate or the official published rate which is not unfavourable to the seafarer.
The purpose of this Marine Guidance Notice is to explain the UK’s understanding of key terms used in the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC).
The UK intends to implement the MLC fully and without departing from the intention of those who drafted the Convention. The terms covered are “seafarer”, “ship” and “shipowner”.
”seafarer” means any person who is employed or engaged or works in any capacity on board a ship to which this Convention applies.
READ ON, SUBTLE DIFFERENCES IN UK LEGISLATION AND MLC.