Employment contracts for fishermen

​​​​Fishermen must have a written employment contract when intending to work on board a fishing vessel. The employment contract must have been concluded no later than when entering service on board the vessel.

The employment contract must contain at least the following:

  1. The identity of the employer and the employee.
  2. The place of work given as the vessel's name and registration number.
  3. The position for which the employee has been hired.
  4. The date on which and the place at which the agreement was concluded.
  5. The date when the employee is to take up the duties.
  6. The voyage(s) to be undertaken, if this can be determined at the time of making of the agreement.
  7. The date from which wages are to be paid.
  8. The size of the wages.
  9. Place of discharge or term of notice. If the employment is temporary, this must be stated.
  10. Rights as regards
    1. Minimum periods of rest.
    2. Holidays, holiday allowances or wages during holidays.
    3. The health and social security coverage and benefits.
    4. The protection that will cover the fisher in the event of sickness, injury or death in connection with service, and
    5. The fisher’s entitlement to repatriation. 
  11. Ordinary daily or weekly working hours.
  12. Indication of the collective agreement or other agreement that regulates the employment. If the collective agreement or other agreement has been concluded by parties outside the company, the identity of these parties must be given.

When the employment is terminated, the date when the dismissal/resignation was given must be given in writing. The reason for the termination of the employment must also be given.

It is sufficient if the employment contract refers to relevant regulation, including legislation and collective agreements. The information given in items 8-12 may, thus, be evident from current legislation, such as the act on seafarers’ conditions of employment, etc. and the regulations on holidays. They may also be evident from a collective agreement, such as the size of the wages. Consequently, the information need not be written directly in the employment contract.

The employment contract must be signed by both parties and be carried on board in physical or digital format.

The fisherman is entitled to get a copy of the employment contract signed by the employer.

The fisherman must have a possibility of going through the employment contract and seeking advice about its contents before signing it. The fisherman is free to choose from whom to seek advice, but must cover any expenses in this connection.


Seafarers, Certification and Social Affairs