AMSA to examine seafarers’ employment practices

AMSA is launching a new concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) in collaboration with Tokyo and Indian Ocean MoUs, targeting seafarers' employment conditions. Issues like wages, rest hours, and crewing levels are prevalent in MLC complaints. AMSA emphasizes the importance of respecting seafarers' rights for a safe work environment. The CIC will run from September to November 2024.
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The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will be launching a concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) later this year, in collaboration with the Tokyo and Indian Ocean MoUs, with a focus on seafarers’ employment conditions. Issues related to employment conditions continue to be the primary source of complaints received under the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC), including concerns about seafarer employment agreements, wages, hours of work and rest, entitlement to leave, repatriation, and crewing levels. AMSA notes that some owners and operators are not fully implementing the MLC requirements regarding seafarers’ employment conditions.

The MLC 2006 sets out standards for the working and living conditions of seafarers, which have been implemented in Australia through the Navigation Act 2012 and associated legislation. AMSA has cited two case studies involving foreign-flagged vessels where commercial disputes, owed wages, and inadequate provisions onboard led to vessel detentions and repatriations. Complaints related to employment conditions continue to make up the majority of MLC complaints reported to AMSA, with a slight decrease in complaints related to seafarer employment agreements and repatriation.

AMSA’s response to repatriation complaints has been effective, leading to a decrease in such complaints in 2023. The authority plans to run the CIC focusing on seafarers’ employment conditions from September to November 2024 to ensure that shipping companies are fulfilling their obligations under the MLC. This initiative aims to address issues related to seafarers’ rights and welfare, promoting healthy, safe, and secure work environments in the maritime industry.

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