Transparent Predictable Working Conditions

The Department of Transport has issued Marine Notice 62 of 2023 – Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions

The Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment has implemented EU Directive 2019/1152 concerning transparent and predictable working conditions in the EU.
 
This transposition has been undertaken through the development of new Regulations: the European Union (Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions) Regulations 2022 (S.I. No. 686 of 2022), along with amendments to the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994.

Shipowners should be aware of their obligations under the Maritime Labour Convention, including the provision of a Seafarer’s Employment Agreement, as set in the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) (Seafarer Employment Agreement and Wages) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 373/2014).

Separately, fishing vessel owners should also be aware of their obligations under EU Directive 2017/159, which implements the social partners’ agreement on the Work in Fishing Convention 2007. This includes the provision of a Fisherman’s Work Agreement, as detailed in the European Union (Crew List and Fisherman’s Work Agreement) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 333/2020).

In addition to the requirements related to Seafarer’s Work Agreements under S.I. No. 373/2014 and Fisherman’s Work Agreements under S.I. No. 333/2020, the legislation transposing EU Directive 2019/1152 imposes additional obligations on employers. These obligations include:

– Frequency and method of wage payments.

– Training entitlement provided by the shipowner or fishing vessel owner as the employer, if any;

– Duration and conditions of any probationary period, if there is one;

– Where the work pattern is predictable, the length of the seafarer’s or fisherman’s standard working day or week and any arrangements for overtime and its remuneration and any arrangements for shift changes;

– In cases where a seafarer or fisherman is employed through an agency on a temporary contract, the identity of the person who will be supervising them or to whom they will directly report.

Any changes to the employment relationship must be communicated in writing to the seafarer or fisherman at the earliest opportunity but before the change takes effect.

Where the seafarer or fisherman is subject to probationary period, it cannot be for a period of more than 6 months and in the case of a renewal of contract for the same function and tasks there should be no new probationary period. Where a seafarer or fisherman has been absent from work
during the probationary period, that period may be extended in relation to the duration of the absence. In the case of a fixed-term contract, the length of the probationary
period must be proportionate to the expected duration of the contract and the nature of the work. On an exceptional basis, the period of probation may be for a period up to 12 months where it is in the interest of the seafarer or fisherman.

When shipowners or fishing vessel owners are required to provide training to a seafarer or fisherman for their job, it must be provided at no cost to the seafarer or fisherman and must count as working time, preferably during working hours. For example, this applies when a master delegates the maintenance and use of medical supplies to a seafarer or fisherman who must then receive special training for this task.

Provisions under section 6C of the Terms of Employment (Information Act) 1994 prohibit seafarers and fishermen from facing penalties for exercising their rights under that Act, including actions such as demotion, changes in work location, wage reductions, suspension, and dismissal, among others, which would be considered detrimental to the seafarer’s or fisherman’s terms and conditions of employment.

The above mentioned additional obligations imposed by S.I. No. 686 of 2022 on shipowners and fishing vessel owners will be enforced by the Workplace Relations Commission.

For any inquiries regarding the European Union (Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions) Regulations 2022 (S.I. No. 686 of 2022) and amendments to the Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994, please contact the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment at:

– Telephone: +353 1 631 2121
– Email: [email protected]

Shipowners and fishing vessel owners should ensure they familiarize themselves with these requirements and implement them appropriately to avoid any breaches.

 

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