FAQ on employment


Employment agreements

  • Question:
    Must seafarers' employment agreements be in English?
  • Answer:
    No, a seafarer's employment agreement can be in English if the seafarer can read and understand what it says. If the ship is engaged in international trade and if a standard employment agreement for seafarers is used, this standard must be available on board in English, if relevant merely as a supplement to the Danish agreement.

  • Question:
    Must seafarers' employment agreements be in paper format?
  • Answer:
    No, they can be available electronically, but such electronic versions must have been signed by both parties.
  • Question:
    Must seafarers' original employment agreements be available on board?
  • Answer:
    No, a copy can be kept on board, but it must be stated clearly that both parties have signed the employment agreement.
  • Question:
    Must the collective agreements be available on board?
  • Answer:
    Yes, if a collective agreement constitutes the seafarer's employment agreement in part or full, the shipowner must ensure that either a standard copy of the collective agreement or an electronic version is available on board. As regards ships engaged in international trade, the parts of the collective agreement subject to port State control and applicable to the employees on board must always be available in English.
  • Question:
    Must the collective agreement have been signed by the parties?
  • Answer:
    No, it must merely be available in a standard version.
  • Question:
    Must collective agreements be in paper format?
  • Answer:
    No, they can be available electronically.
  • Question:
    Must the employment agreement contain the seafarer's place of birth?
  • Answer:
    Yes, if the ship is engaged in international trade. If the ship is engaged in domestic trade, the Danish Maritime Authority considers the seafarer's Danish civil registration number as sufficient proof of the person's identity and the information about the place of birth can be left out.
  • Question:
    We have seafarers who were employed before 20 August 2013. Must these seafarers have new employment agreements that meet the MLC requirements?
  • Answer:
    No. If the employment agreements do not meet all the MLC requirements, the seafarers should – before 20 November 2013 – have received an appendix to the employment agreements containing the supplementing information so that the agreement with the appendix meets the requirements stipulated in the order on the employer's obligation to conclude a written agreement with the seafarer on the conditions of employment. However, it was also possible to give the seafarer a totally new employment contract that meets the requirements no later than by 20 November 2013.
  • Question:
    What will happen if a valid collective agreement has expired?
  • Answer:
    Danish Shipping has informed the Danish Maritime Authority that normally a collective agreement will not expire, even though it extends the duration agreed on. Most collective agreements concluded with Danish shipowners stipulate that the collective agreement applies either beyond the agreed duration or until the collective agreement has been replaced by a new collective agreement. Should a collective agreement to which reference is made in a seafarer's employment contract be terminated or cancelled during the service, the conditions and terms of the terminated collective agreement must automatically apply as individually agreed conditions and terms for the employment for the remainder of the service. This automatic and – as regards expressions – minor change of the contractual basis will not normally require a new employment contract.

Payment of wages

  • Question:
    Must a monthly overview of the wages be available to the seafarer?
  • Answer:
    Yes, and it can be in electronic form.

Recruitment and placement

  • Question:
    Is certification needed in order to run recruitment and placement services?
  • Answer:
    Yes. The certification must be in place before the business starts up.
  • Question:
    Must we be certified as a shipowner?
  • Answer:
    It depends on whether the shipowner is considered to offer recruitment and placement services. Normally, a shipowner will in itself not be considered to offer recruitment and placement services.
  • Question:
    We use a recruitment and placement service in another country that has ratified the MLC. What must we be aware of in that connection?
  • Answer:
    Shipowners using private recruitment and placement services for seafarers in countries that have ratified the MLC – or ILO Convention no. 179 on the recruitment and placement of seafarers (1996) – must ensure that the relevant services have a certificate or a license documenting that they are driven in accordance with the Convention requirements. If the country concerned does not issue such certificates or licenses, the shipowners must secure another type of official confirmation that the relevant services are driven in accordance with the Convention requirements.
  • Question:
    We use a recruitment and placement service in another country that has not ratified the MLC. What must we be aware of in that connection?
  • Answer:
    Shipowners using private recruitment and placement services for seafarers in countries that have not ratified the MLC – or ILO Convention no. 179 on the recruitment and placement of seafarers (1996) – must be able to document that the relevant services meet the requirements for recruitment and placement services following from the Convention. The Danish Maritime Authority can approve a shipowner's use of the service concerned. The approval is granted for a limited period of time which is normally five years.

Hours of rest

  • Question:
    Can information on hours of rest be kept on board in electronic form?
  • Answer:
    Yes. If the system for recording hours of rest is electronic, the Danish Maritime Authority must grant the shipowner a permit before the system can be used on board. Information about such a permit must be available on board.
  • Question:
    Must the seafarer always receive the overview of hours of rest in paper format?
  • Answer:
    Yes, every month and at the end of the service the seafarer must receive a signed copy of the overview of hours of rest. The master or a person authorised by the master as well as the seafarer must sign the overview of hours of rest. If the signature is electronic, a print of the overview will suffice, but it must be clear that the master or a person authorised by the master as well as the seafarer have signed the document electronically.

Food

  • Question:
    Must the food be free?
  • Answer:
    Yes. But it can be agreed to pay a compensating subsistence allowance instead of free food.
  • Question:
    Must the compensating subsistence allowance be separate from the wages?
  • Answer:
    The parties can decide whether the subsistence allowance must be part of the wages, or whether the allowance must be kept separate from the wages. It is recommended that the collective agreement or the employment agreement states whether a compensating subsistence allowance is paid or whether the allowance is part of the wages.

 Kontakt

Seafarers, Certification and Social Affairs
Maria Casparij, Head of Section
+45 72 19 61 32