According to the MLC and EU law, it is optional whether seafarers' hours of work or hours of rest are regulated. Denmark has chosen to regulate only seafarers' hours of rest.
Order on seafarers' hours of rest
Hours of rest per 24 hours and per week
Seafarers must have at least 10 hours of rest during each 24-hour period, and at least 6 of these hours must be uninterrupted. The 10 hours of rest can be subdivided into a maximum of two rest periods, and there must be a maximum of 14 hours between the periods of rest. Absence from work counts as rest only if it has a duration of at least 1 hour. During one week, a seafarer's total hours of rest must amount to at least 77 hours. This includes all periods of rest.
A workday is a 24-hour period that starts the first time the seafarer starts working during a work day. A week is an uninterrupted 7-day period. The Danish Maritime Authority can permit the daily and weekly hours of rest to be calculated during the calendar day (00:00-24:00 hours). A copy of the permit must be available on board.
Exemptions in connection with recorded collective agreements
Watchkeeping seafarers or seafarers working on ships engaged on short voyages (such as ferry crossings) may be entitled to shorter hours of rest. However, this is conditional upon the availability of a collective agreement that stipulates compensation in the form of more sparetime, time of in lieu of wages or the like. The agreement must also take proper account of the seafarer's health and safety. The special collective agreement must not be used until it has been recorded with the Danish Maritime Authority. The recorded agreement must be available on board.
Exemptions in special cases
Seafarers on call must have a compensating period of rest if the normal period of rest is interrupted due to work and such an interruption without any compensation of the seafarer means that the requirement for the workday's hours of rest cannot be met.
The total hours of rest during the workday for employees on call must have a duration of at least 10 hours. One of the periods of rest must have a duration of at least 6 hours.
The work on board, fire and rescue drills as well as other prescribed drills must be carried out in such a manner that they interfere as little as possible with seafarers' periods of rest and do not result in fatigue. Seafarers' total hours of rest during a workday must have a duration of at least 10 hours - irrespective of any interruptions. One of the periods of rest must have a duration of at least 6 hours.
It is possible to deviate from the provisions on hours of rest in unforeseen emergencies, for example when it is necessary due to the immediate safety of the ship, those on board or the cargo or in order to assist other ships or persons in distress at sea. The decision is made by the master and he must ensure that the seafarer gets a sufficient period of rest as soon as possible.
Watchkeeping schedules and recording of hours of rest
An overview must be posted in an easily accessible place on board listing each individual function on board and the employees' work periods at sea and in port, including the watchkeeping periods of the watchkeeping employees. Seafarers' hours of rest must be recorded in a special record of the hours of rest on an ongoing basis. The Danish Maritime Authority has issued a standard form for recording watchkeeping hours and hours of rest. The forms are printed as an annex to the order on hours of rest. If a shipping company wants another format, it must be approved by the Danish Maritime Authority. The record of hours of rest must be kept in duplicate.
The master or a person authorised by him and the seafarer must sign the record every month. At suitable intervals and when signing off, the seafarer must receive a signed copy of the record of the hours of rest. The ship copy must be kept on board for six months after the termination of the duty.
The Danish Maritime Authority can permit the recording and storing of information on seafarers' hours of rest on an electronic medium on board. A copy of the permit granted by the Danish Maritime Authority must be available on board.