International Maritime Labor Convention takes effect

Brazil became a member of the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC), an International Labor Organization Convention.

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International Maritime Labor Convention takes effect


Brazil became a member of the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC), an International Labor Organization Convention, by enactment of Executive Decree No. 10.,671, on April 9, 2021. The document, which came into force on May 7, puts together existing rules regarding conventions and recommendations on this area.

MLC establishes decent working conditions and considers that seafarers, as maritime workers are named in the document, require special protection for working on such a global industry.

The Convention sets rules and recommendations concerning employment conditions and ship structure, such as heating, ventilation, and lighting systems, which ensure seafarers' health and well-being. It is the members' responsibility to oversee and monitor effective implementation of all rules listed in the document.

Among the many topics explored, we list herein some considered to be more important.


Main topics covered in the International Maritime Labor Convention:


Minimum age

Minors under age 16 must not be hired to work on a ship. Minors under 18 are not allowed to work in hazardous areas, which may put their safety or health in danger, or at night shift. Exceptions can be allowed for some specific situation, considered essential. In addition, work hours may not exceed 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week and a 15-minute rest is required after two hours of work.


Medical fitness

All workers must be medically fit to perform their tasks, which should be confirmed by medical certificate. In some urgent cases, seafarers may work without a certificate until the following stopover arrival date.


Employment agreements

Both workers and shipowners (or the responsible for ship operation) must carry a signed original of the employment contract. If an individual or collective agreement is part of the employment contract, a copy should be made available on board.


Payments

Wages should be paid at least every month. Workers must receive a monthly report, presenting accrued wages and amount paid, including salaries, additional payments and exchange rate used, if payment is made in a different currency.


Calculation and remuneration

For wage calculation, working hours at sea and at harbor should not exceed 8 hours a day. The captain or another person responsible for the ship must record and keep all overtime worked by employees. Records must be monthly signed by workers. Concerning overtime, the additional pay cannot be less than 25% of the working hours basic amount.


Work hours

The maximum hours of work should not exceed:

  • 14 hours in any 24-hour period
  • 72 hours in any seven-day period

Daily hours of rest should not exceed:

  • 10 hours in any 24-hour period
  • 77 hours in any seven-day period

Rest hours may not be split into more than two periods, and breaks between two consecutive rest periods may not exceed 14 hours. If a worker is interrupted during rest hours by work calls - if, for example there is an engine room without permanent crew - he will be entitled to an appropriate compensatory rest period.


Leave

All seafarers have a right to annual leave of at least 30 days, under appropriate conditions.


Repatriation

All workers are entitled to repatriation in the following cases: when the contract expires while the worker is abroad; when the worker is no longer able to perform his duties; or when the contract is terminated by shipowner or worker if the reason is justified.

Shipowners should provide transport and cover all repatriation costs. They must not in any way demand from workers advance payment for repatriation.

As for workers under 18, those who turn out be unfit for life at sea after working for at least 4 months on their first trip, are entitled to free repatriation.


Financial guarantee

Seafarers must receive compensation for unemployment resulting from ship loss or foundering. This payment must be calculated for the number of days during which the worker is unemployed, based on the previously agreed wage. The total sum to be paid to each seafarer, however, may be limited to two months' salary.


Medical care

Ships must provide on-board pharmacy, medical equipment, and a medical guide. Ships taking more than 100 people on board and making international trips of three or more days require a doctor on board. Ships without a doctor must have at least one crew member on board in charge of medical care.


 

Specialized support


Domingues e Pinho Contadores' multidisciplinary team is ready to assist companies in complying with Maritime Labor Convention standards and to ensure safety in businesses' decision-making procedures. DPC experts are available to answer any questions regarding MLC and its application.

How DPC may help your company?

Domingues e Pinho Contadores has specialized team ready to assist your company.
Contact us by the e-mail dpc@dpc.com.br

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How DPC may help your company?

Domingues e Pinho Contadores has specialized team ready to assist your company.
Contact us by the e-mail dpc@dpc.com.br

Sign up for our Newsletter:

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