Law of Yachts and Yachting

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Employment and Manning

Employment and Manning

  • 1. Introduction 129
  • 2. Seafarer employment and crew agreements 132
  • 3. Employment law and UK employment tribunal jurisdiction 134
  • 4. Employment law and the European Union 141
  • 5. Manning of yachts 143
  • 6. Certification and training 145
  • 7. Maritime Labour Convention 2006 148

1. Introduction

[6-001] UK legislation. As with yacht and ship registration in England, the primary source of law relating to manning and employment on UK-flagged yachts can be found in the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (the “Act”), an Act consolidating the Merchant Shipping Acts 1894–1994 as well as a number of other enactments relating to merchant shipping.1 The outline laws relating to masters and seamen can be found in Part III of the Act.2 Detailed, substantive laws are contained in subordinate legislation comprising various statutory instruments in the form of Regulations, issued and amended from time to time by the UK’s Secretary of State, and further supplemented by Marine Notices (“M-Notices”) published by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (“MCA”).3 M-Notices fall into three categories, comprising (i) Merchant Shipping Notices, or MSNs, conveying mandatory rules and technical details found in Regulations; (ii) Marine Guidance Notes, or MGNs, providing advice and guidance relating predominantly to the goal of improving safety of shipping and life at sea and minimising pollution; and (iii) Marine Information Notes, or MINs, aimed at conveying specific or time-sensitive information on discrete operational or technical aspects.4 Part III of the Act applies only to yachts which are “sea-going ships” and to masters and seamen employed on such yachts. The Act does not define what

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constitutes a “sea-going” ship but pursuant to Regulation 2(1) of the Merchant Shipping (Safe Manning, Hours of Work and Watchkeeping) Regulations 19975 this designates “going beyond the limits of waters of category A, B, C or D”, as defined in MSN 1837(M).6

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