Our MLC 2006 series continues... With dayworker's rights
This month, Camper & Nicholsons International brings you up to speed on the rights of dayworkers.
It can be disheartening and demotivating and might very often seem like a fruitless effort, but it is the way that so many people get their start. As crew agents, we encourage everyone to go dockwalking. Networking, meeting as many people as possible, not relying totally on the agencies… this is what it takes to make a name for yourself in this surprisingly small industry and eventually land your first or next job.
So let’s say you listen to our advice. You know the ports by heart, all the way from Antibes to Imperia. You have managed to keep a smile on your face, and after handing out countless CVs to often unwilling, unimpressed recipients, you land yourself some daywork. Next question, as a dayworker, are you covered by MLC 2006 legislation?
By this point you know what MLC is all about. If you have been in to see us, you have been told how important it is to be aware of the new legislation and what it will mean to you when you get your first job. But you haven’t stopped to wonder what it means to you when you are simply doing daywork.
The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 has been created to harmonise and revise existing seafarers’ regulations and offer comprehensive rights and protection for all seafarers throughout the world. However, what you need to know is that a dayworker is not considered a seafarer. Simply put, you are not at sea.
So the short answer to this very important question is, no, you are not entitled to the same rights as crewmembers under contract on their yachts. Under Article II (f), a seafarer means any person who is employed or engaged or works in any capacity on board a ship to which the Convention applies. However, when you are hired for daywork, the definition of your employment on board is as a non-seafarer. You should be made to sign a simple contract stating that you understand this position, and that temporary work will not be conducting routine work for ships business.
There are many reasons for this, and it is as important for the worker as it is for the employer taking onboard a somewhat unknown person. As a dayworker, you might not have had time to get your Medical Certificate. For this reason, you will also be asked to confirm that you are physically fit for the job and that you are not hiding any disability, contagious disease, or condition that might be aggravated by the kind of work you will be doing. And speaking of what you will be doing, know that they should not ask you to perform any dangerous tasks or do any job that requires a permit or special training. You should not be left unattended, and your work day should not be longer than 12 hours. And as a non-seafarer, you should not be taken out to sea!
Daywork is a great way to learn and get your foot in the door. Maybe the best. But even if you are only scrubbing and cleaning the day away, you should take your position seriously. Though you are not yet covered by the new MLC legislation, this is your peek into the industry and a golden chance at an insider’s perspective into this job you are so persistently chasing. Take this opportunity to work hard, as the impression you make in a simple days work could quite possibly follow you throughout your career.
For further information, please contact Camper & Nicholsons International's Crew Division.