UK Ratifies Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)
The UK ratified the Maritime Labour Convention on 7 August 2013. It will enter into force on 7 August 2014. Ratification is a formal undertaking by a country to be bound by the terms of the Convention.
The UK has 1,383 vessels on its register totalling 16.57 million gross tonnage. There are approximately 89,000 seafarers working on UK flagged ships and more than 24,100 UK nationals work as seafarers.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) will mark the coming into force of its historic Maritime Labor Convention, 2006, on August 20, 2013. The ILO Convention, known as “MLC 2006”, will establish minimum working and living standards for seafarers and be an essential step toward ensuring fair competition and a level-playing field for shipowners flying the flags of ratifying countries. This new ILO convention consolidates and updates more than 68 international labour standards in the maritime sector.
The UK ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention has been a lengthy process that involved a number of Government departments alongside extensive contributions from the UK Chamber of Shipping, Nautilus International, the RMT union and other stakeholders. It also presented the opportunity to update legislation.
Stephen Hammond MP, UK Minister for Shipping, said: "I am pleased to adopt this convention. This will ensure that there are globally agreed standards for seafarers and their right to decent working conditions. It will also provide clarity of regulatory approach and remove obstacles to regional trade. It also ensures a level playing field for the UK merchant fleet because the Convention will require ships registered in other states to meet internationally agreed standards."
The ILO's Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 provides comprehensive rights and protection at work for more than 1.2 million seafarers around the world.
NEW MLC 2006 - Detail RE: Application to small vessels of less than 200GT that are ordinarily engaged in commercial activities
NEW MLC 2006- Detail RE: Application to workboats of 200GT to less than 500GT
The Convention aims to achieve both decent work for seafarers and secure economic interests in fair competition for quality shipowners. The new labour standard consolidates and updates more than 68 international labour standards related to the Maritime sector produced over the last 80 years.
The Convention was adopted by a record vote of 314 in favour and none against (two countries abstained for reasons unrelated to the substance of the Convention), after nearly two weeks of detailed review by over 1,000 participants drawn from 106 countries. This almost unprecedented level of support reflects the lengthy tripartite consultation exercise and the unswerving support that has been shown for it by the governments and workers and employers who have worked together since 2001 to develop the Convention text. It will also achieve near universal ratification because of its blend of firmness on rights and flexibility with respect to approaches to implementation of the more technical requirements and because of the advantages it gives to the ships of countries that ratify it.
The Maritime Labour Convention 2006
The Convention is organised into three main parts: The Articles coming first set out the broad principles and obligations.
This is followed by the more detailed Regulations and Code (with two parts: Parts A and B) provisions.
The Regulations & The Standards (Part A) & Guidelines (Part B) in the Code are integrated and organised into general areas of concern under 5 Titles:-
Title 1: MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR SEAFARERS TO WORK ON A SHIP
• Regulation 1.1 Minimum Age
• Regulation 1.2 Medical Certificate
• Regulation 1.3 Training and qualifications
• Regulation 1.4 Recruitment and placement
Title 2: CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
• Regulation 2.1 Seafarers' employment agreements
• Regulation 2.2 Wages
• Regulation 2.3 Hours of work and hours of rest
• Regulation 2.4 Entitlement to leave
• Regulation 2.5 Repatriation
• Regulation 2.6 Seafarer compensation for the ship's loss or foundering
• Regulation 2.7 Manning levels
• Regulation 2.8 Career and skill development and opportunities for seafarers' employment
Title 3: ACCOMMODATION, RECREATIONAL FACILITIES, FOOD AND CATERING
• Regulation 3.1 Accommodation and recreational facilities
• Regulation 3.2 Food and catering
Title 4: HEALTH PROTECTION, MEDICAL CARE WELFARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY PROTECTION
• Regulation 4.1 Medical care on board ship and ashore
• Regulation 4.2 Shipowners' liability
• Regulation 4.3 Health and safety protection and accident prevention
• Regulation 4.4 Access to shore-based welfare facilities
Title 5: COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT
• Regulation 5.1 Flag State responsibilities
• Regulation 5.1.3 Maritime labour certificate and declaration of maritime labour compliance
• Regulation 5.1.4 Inspection and enforcement
• Regulation 5.1.5 On-board complaints procedures
• Regulation 5.2 Port State responsibilities
• Regulation 5.2.2 Onshore seafarer complaint-handling procedures
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