Living and working conditions

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Living and working conditions

The UK Ship Register is committed to quality shipping, which includes ensuring decent living and working conditions for all those working on board UK ships. 

Seafarers on UK ships are protected by a range of legislation governing all aspects of their employment and their living and working conditions. 

All ships which operate commercially (other than fishing vessels and ships of traditional build) are subject to UK legislation implementing the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. 

 

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

Most workers in the United Kingdom over compulsory school age are entitled to be paid at least national minimum wage (NMW) rates. A worker is defined in the National Minimum Wage Act 1998, section 54 as someone who has entered into or works or worked under:

  • A contract of employment or 
  • A contract by which the individual undertakes to perform work or services personally for someone else. The contract can be express (whether agreed orally or in writing) or implied. 

Section 1 of the 1998 Act applies the national minimum wage to the work of someone who is working, or ordinarily works in the UK. Section 40 states that a worker is to be treated as ordinarily working in the UK if he or she works on a UK-flagged ship, unless this employment is wholly outside the UK or they are not ordinarily resident in the UK. 

General guidance on the National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage. 

Calculating guidance on the National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage. 

 

Income Tax and National Insurance

Information about applying Income Tax and National Insurance to seafarers is given here.

 

Complaints under the Maritime Labour Convention regulations

The MCA will investigate any complaints from seafarers on board UK-flagged vessels and on other ships which call at UK ports. 

The UK Administration's contact details for seafarer complaints (which should be included in on-board complaints procedures/DMLC Part 2) is mlc@mcga.gov.uk

All ships on which workers are employed are subject to UK Health and Safety legislation.