Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (‘MLC’):
- A seafarer has the right to a written employment agreement. It must be clear and legally enforceable.
- A seafarer must be able to review the employment agreement, and seek advice on it, before signing it.
- A seafarer must enter into the employment agreement freely.
- The employment agreement must be signed by the seafarer and the shipowner, or a representative of the shipowner.
- The seafarer and the shipowner must each have a signed original of the employment agreement.
- If the employment agreement includes a collective bargaining agreement, a copy of the collective agreement must be available on board the ship.
- The employment agreement must contain the following particulars:
- the seafarer’s full name, date of birth or age, and birthplace;
- the shipowner’s name and address;
- the place where and date when the employment agreement is entered into;
- the seafarer’s position on board;
- the amount of the seafarer’s wages, or how they are calculated;
- the amount of annual paid leave, or how it is calculated;
- the conditions for terminating the agreement, including the notice period, if the agreement is for an indefinite period (this must not be less for the shipowner than for the seafarer); the expiry date, if the agreement is for a fixed term; and the port of destination, if the agreement is for a specific voyage;
- the health and social security protection benefits provided by the shipowner;
- the seafarer’s entitlement to repatriation;
- reference to the collective bargaining agreement, if applicable.
- A copy of the seafarer’s employment agreement, including any applicable collective bargaining agreement, must be available substantively in English on board the ship for review by officers of a competent authority, including port state control officers.
See Regulation 2.1 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