A seafarers' bill of rights
J. Lauritzen and other shipowners mount a concerted effort to prepare for certification under consolidated Maritime Labour Convention regulations.
The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), which comes into force in August 2013, establishes that seafarers are entitled to good living and working conditions, regular communications with their home, the guarantee of regular pay, adequate medical care, repatriation, and social security and welfare benefits. MLC is relevant for all of J. Lauritzen’s (JL) business units and each business unit has been preparing for compliance with the upcoming commencement of the convention.
“Much of this is not new to us or to the industry,” says Klaus Pedersen, HSSEQ manager, Lauritzen Kosan (LK). “The MLC has consolidated and modernised many existing regulations. What is really new is that they have given the convention some teeth by adding an inspection regime. Flag states, or recognised organisations working on flag states’ behalf, will do continuous inspections of vessels by going on board at least three times every five years. In addition to protecting seafarers, the convention also provides a level playing field for shipowners who are committed to providing decent working conditions by protecting them from unfair competition from substandard ships.” Basically, the convention means that all shipowners are now required to show that they are in compliance with the convention. Once the MLC comes into force, all ships that trade internationally, where the convention is ratified, must meet its requirements. Whether their flag states have ratified the convention or not, ships will be subject to inspection and can be detained or delayed in a port until significant violations are rectified.
Gap analysis and new procedures In Lauritzen Offshore (LO ), the new convention is being met with a systematic approach. “We have made a gap analysis for LO , and it shows that we, to a very large extent, are in compliance with the new regulations,” says Claus Tommerup, senior manager and head of maritime personnel for LO . “Most changes will be made from the shore-based office.” Operating in the offshore segment with different oil majors as clients, JL’s offshore unit is used to ensuring compliance with various demands, so extensive procedures and systems are already in place. It is these systems and procedures that will be updated. “Our deadline for compliance is July 2013, and we will be making internal audits to ensure compliance,” says Claus Tommerup.'