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Appendix C —Maritime Labour Convention Minimum Working Conditions for Seafarers[1]

Minimum requirements for seafarers to work on a ship

The minimum requirements for working on a ship are:

  • no under-age persons work on a ship;

  • all seafarers shall hold medical certificates attesting that they are medically fit to perform their duties at sea;

  • seafarers are trained or qualified to carry out their duties on board ship; and

  • seafarers have access to an efficient well regulated seafarers recruitment and placement system

Conditions of employment

Seafarers will:

  • be employed under written, legally enforceable employment agreements that contain prescribed details and particulars;

  • be paid for their services in accordance with their employment agreements;

  • have regulated hours of work and hours of rest;

  • have adequate annual and shore leave entitlements;

  • be able to return home at no cost to themselves in prescribed circumstances;

  • be compensated for injury, loss or unemployment when a ship is lost or has foundered; and

  • work on board ships with sufficient personnel for the safe, efficient and secure operation of the ship.

Seafarers should also have access to career and skill development and employment opportunities for seafarers.

Accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering

Seafarers will:

  • have decent accommodation and recreational facilities on board; and

  • have access to good quality food and drinking water provided under regulated hygienic conditions.

Health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection

Seafarers will:

  • have prompt access to adequate medical care on board ship and ashore;

  • have the right to material assistance from shipowners for the financial consequences of sickness, injury or death  while they are serving under an employment agreement;

  • are provided with occupational health and safety protection;

  • have access to shore-based welfare facilities where they exist; and

  • have access to social security protection.

Compliance and enforcement

Signatory states must:

  • implement their responsibilities under the Maritime Labour Convention with respect to ships that fly their flags;

  • implement their responsibilities under the Maritime Labour Convention regarding international cooperation in the implementation and enforcement of Maritime Labour Convention standards on foreign ships; and

  • implement their responsibilities under the Maritime Labour Convention pertaining to seafarers’ recruitment and placement and the social protection of seafarers.


[1]               Information for Appendix C had been obtained from Annexure 3 of the Maritime Labour Convention National Interest Analysis.

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