SEA, Contracts and Medical Insurance Cover

What is the MLC 2006?

The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) is an International Labour Organization convention, established in 2006 to support international maritime law and embodies "all up-to-date standards of existing international maritime labour Conventions and Recommendations, as well as the fundamental principles to be found in other international labour Conventions". The other supports being the SOLAS, STCW and MARPOL. The treaties applies to all ships entering the harbours of parties to the treaty (port states), as well as to all states flying the flag of state party (flag states) .SEA Agreement/Contract of Employment

The ILO (Intl Labour Organisation) is the global body that protects people and promotes jobs.

The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, as amended (MLC, 2006) is a set of conditions that flag states should adher to if they have ratified the MLC 2006.

This means that if you are working on a yacht with a flag state that has ratified he MLC that you have certain rights and protection afforded to you but we recommend you sign a SEA that the yacht gives to you to confirm that you are employed under this convention.

Regulation 2.1 – Seafarers’ employment agreements

Purpose: To ensure that seafarers have a fair employment agreement

1. The terms and conditions for employment of a seafarer shall be set out or referred to in a clear written legally enforceable agreement and shall be consistent with the standards set out in the Code.
2. Seafarers’ employment agreements shall be agreed to by the seafarer under conditions which ensure that the seafarer has an opportunity to review and seek advice on the terms and conditions in the agreement and freely accepts them before signing.
3. To the extent compatible with the Member’s national law and practice, seafarers’ employment agreements shall be understood to incorporate any applicable collective bargaining agreements.

The SEA will set out the basic terms of your contract. salary, repatriation point, leave etc... 

Full info on the MLC 2006 and what your rights are can be found at

and also,as%20well%20as%20the%20fundamental

Make sure the yacht is offering you the minimum annual leave which is currently 2.5 days per month.



Your yacht will outline what medical insurance cover they provide you when you discuss SEA and contracts, salary etc.

  1. Make sure you receive a copy of the full cover info and confirm with them that your nationality/passport is covered by their ploicy. Sounds crazy but some medical insurance cover for yachts has a discretionary clause in it with regards to US, South African and Australian and Kiwi passport holders. We know of a chef who had to return home to the USA from the Indian Ocean due to injury and he had a long fight to get his medical cover and repatriation costs reimbursed.
  2. make sure you get a copy of the card or something with the emergency number on it in case you have an accident off the yacht and need to get help. I know of one cpatain who refused to let a chef go to get private medical help when he tore his knee in the galley and it took 4 days before he chef was able to 'convince' the captain to send him by private ambulance to hospital in Monaco. He ended up havign knee surgery and was repatriated back home to South America after we helped get the yacht manager to sort him out.. Crazy to think this goes on in modern yachting. By the way we were the only people to go visit the chef in hospital in Monaco and ask how he was doing. None of the captain, crew or yacht managment company did so we were pretty shocked and disgusted by this..