1. Overview

All seafarers have working and living rights that include:

  • employment contracts
  • accommodation
  • food and medical care

A seafarer is anyone who works on board a seagoing ship, including:

  • master and crew
  • self-employed contractors
  • shopkeepers and hairdressers
  • entertainers

A seagoing ship is any vessel:

  • on an international voyage or from a foreign port
  • on a domestic journey from the UK coast
  • more than 500 gross tonnes

The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 comes into force on 7 August 2014. It will replace all existing laws on seafarers’ rights.