Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (‘MLC’):
- A seafarer has the right to work on a safely and securely operated ship.
- The MLC does not set out minimum manning levels for ships since this is to be decided by the flag state depending on the ship or category of ship.
- However, the MLC does require that every ship must be manned by a crew that is adequate in terms of size and qualifications to ensure the safety and security of the ship and all those on board under all operating conditions.
- Manning levels also need to take into account the nature and conditions of the voyage and requirements concerning food and catering.
- Apart from MLC, there are various other international instruments concerned with manning levels such as, for example, SOLAS. SOLAS requires that all ships are provided with a minimum safe manning document, setting out the safe manning scale approved to the ship. This, as well as the Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance, is good evidence of the minimum safe manning considered necessary and subject to port state control.
- There should be a complaints procedure in place concerning the manning levels on a ship.
See Regulation 2.7 of the MLC.
For more information
See the ILO Frequently Asked Questions (section C5.2) at http://www.ilo.org/global/standards/maritime-labour-convention/what-it-does/faq/WCMS_177371/lang–en/index.htm