Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (‘MLC’):
- A seafarer has the right to paid annual leave.
- Subject to operational requirements, seafarers must also be given shore leave.
- Annual leave with pay is calculated on the basis of 2.5 days for every calendar month of employment. This is a minimum entitlement and if the employment agreement or the collective bargaining agreement provides for a higher rate of paid annual leave, then this higher rate is applicable.
- If a seafarer’s employment is shorter than, or terminates part way through the year, his leave entitlement must be calculated on a pro-rata basis.
- Unauthorised agreements to the effect of denying or buying off the minimum annual leave with pay are not allowed.
- The following should not be counted as part of annual leave with pay:
- public and customary holidays recognised in the flag state;
- time off for illness, injury or maternity;
- temporary shore leave;
- compensatory leave; or
- other justified absences.
- A seafarer must be able to take his annual leave in his home country or another place with which he has a substantial connection. If he has to take his leave from a different place, then the shipowner must provide free transportation to the place of recruitment and subsistence for the journey. Travel time must not be deducted from the seafarer’s annual leave entitlement.
- When annual leave should be taken will normally be agreed between the seafarer and the shipowner.
See Regulation 2.4 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