Question: What About Workers' Compensation Coverage, OHS Coverage and the ILO Maritime Labour Convention?

The commencement of the Navigation (Consequential Amendments) Act 2012 on 1 July 2013 means that coverage under the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1993 (Seafarers Act) is no longer determined by reference to the Navigation Act.  The coverage provisions are now contained in the Seafarers Act itself.

Coverage in the Seafarers Act is meant to mirror coverage in the former Navigation Act, and retain coverage of vessels under s8A and s8AA declarations under that Act.

The union strongly recommends that you seek advice from your employer to confirm that you remain covered by the Seafarers Act.

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) coverage

Similarly, commencement of the Navigation (Consequential Amendments) Act 2012 on 1 July 2013 means that coverage under the Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry Act 1992 (OHS (MI) Act) is no longer determined by reference to the Navigation Act.  The coverage provisions are now contained in the OHS (MI) Act itself. 

The union strongly recommends that you seek advice from your employer to confirm that you remain covered by the OHS (MI) Act.

The ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)

The ILO MLC, which was ratified by Australia in 2011 is given effect by the Navigation Act 2012 and Marine Order 11 (Living and Working conditions on vessels). 

MO11 will contain two parts. The first part addresses those components of the MLC that will be regulated on the entry into force of the Navigation Act i.e. from 1 July 2013.  This will include specific regulations about:

  • Accommodation and recreational requirements on board the ship
  • Medical care and facilities on-board and ashore, including access to dental care
  • Access to and use of sanitary and laundry facilities
  • Provision of free supplies of food and water and their storage and handling
  • The content of work agreements and their application (noting that vessel owners will be given until the entry into force of the MLC before these will be required)
  • Regulations governing rest breaks for seafarers
  • Repatriation arrangements
  • The inspection regime and certification (noting that vessel owners will be given until the entry into force of the MLC before this will be required)
  • Rights for younger seafarers

The second part will contain regulations that will come into effect on 20 August 2013, on coming into force globally of the IMO MLC, and will cover:

  • Seafarer recruitment and placement services
  • Seafarer access to shore based welfare
  • The on-board and on-shore complaints handling procedures.