Compensation in case of loss or foundering
The shipowner is liable to pay compensation regarding the loss (of possessions) and injury (Standard A2.6.2) is provided for in the legislation. The maximum amount the shipowner will pay as compensation for loss in such circumstances must be specified in the Seafarer’s Employment Agreement.
The shipowner must provide financial security, a contract of insurance or other security adequate to ensure that the shipowner will meet any liabilities under UK law or under Seafarer Employment Agreements (SEA), to provide compensation in the event of death or long term disability to seafarers arising from occupational injury, illness or hazard.
The shipowner must pay basic wages to incapacitated seafarers whilst onboard or put ashore up to the time they recover, or if/when repatriated, 16 weeks have elapsed since the date of the injury or commencement of sickness. After repatriation, the shipowner’s liability is only to meet the difference between state benefits paid and the level of basic wages.
Burial and Cremation
The shipowner must meet any expenses reasonably incurred in the cost of burial or cremation of a deceased seafarer, wherever this takes place, except:
- if the seafarer dies ashore in their country of residence; or
- to the extent the expenses are met by a public authority.
The shipowner must ensure that the seafarer is provided with medical care onboard, so far as is practicable, and meet the cost of surgical, medical, dental and optical treatment, while the seafarer is employed or onboard, board and lodging away from home when not onboard the ship, up to the time the seafarer has recovered, been repatriated or the incapacity has been declared of a permanent nature. Shipowners should note that if, following the incapacity being declared of a permanent nature by an Approved Doctor, the seafarer lodges a successful appeal against this decision, the shipowner’s obligation towards the seafarer will be re-instated as if it had continued without interruption. This obligation is limited to 16 weeks from the date of sickness injury occurring, and does not apply when those expenses are met by a public authority.
Expiry of SEA prior to the end of the usual liability period
If a seafarer’s Seafarer Employment Agreement (SEA) expires during the period in which above liabilities are payable, the liabilities continue to be payable as if the SEA continued to be in force during this period.
The shipowner obligations in wages, burial and medical care do not apply if:
- the seafarer is injured when not at work;
- if sickness or injury was due to the seafarer’s willful misconduct; or
- the seafarer concealed an existing sickness or incapacity from the shipowner when they entered into the SEA.