The Government's newly issued 'Guide to the application of the Equality Act 2010 and National Minimum Wage for seafarers' does not make any change to legal entitlement for those working in UK waters, the UK Chamber of Shipping advises.
"The guide does not amend the law and there has been no change in the entitlement of any seafarer in respect of the National Minimum Wage or the Equality Act. It is hoped that the clarification of the current position provided by the guide will be of use to companies and seafarers," says Tim Springett, policy director at the UK Chamber of Shipping, who specialises in employment issues.
The new guidance is the first of its kind on the application of the National Minimum Wage specifically to seafarers. Advice issued in respect of seafarers has until now been included in general guides and was amended frequently - without consultation with the industry - in ways that led to uncertainty rather than clarity.
"The new guide takes account of the UK's obligations under the International Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the generally observed custom under which coastal states do not impose laws on visiting ships that affect the internal economies of those ships," explains Tim Springett.