New Zealand has ratified the International Labour Organisation's Maritime Labour Convention, which sets minimum standards to address the health, safety and welfare of seafarers on commercial vessels.
Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse says ratifying the convention gives New Zealand the power to verify that crew on foreign ships carrying New Zealand goods are treated fairly and within internationally accepted standards.
"This includes medical care, health and safety protection, accommodation, food and water, repatriation, and employment conditions."
It covers almost every aspect of work and life on board ship including:
- Health and safety protection and accident prevention
- Onboard medical care
- Accommodation, food and catering
- Minimum age
- Payment of wages
- Paid annual leave
- Seafarers' employment agreements
- Hours of work or rest
- Seafarers' complaint handling
The Convention will come into force on 8 March 2017. It will apply to about 890 foreign commercial cargo and cruise ships visiting New Zealand annually, and approximately 30 New Zealand ships.