Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (‘MLC’):
- A person must be 16 years old or above to work as a seafarer.
- A seafarer who is between 16 and 18 years of age can work on a ship but cannot do:
- Night work* (with some possible exceptions); or
- Work that puts the seafarer’s health or safety at risk.
What work is likely to be a health or safety risk is determined by the competent authority, after consultation with shipowner and seafarer organisations.
*’Night’ is determined in accordance with national law and practice. It must cover a period of at least nine hours starting no later than midnight, and ending no earlier than 5am.