Working conditions

There are minimum requirements seafarers must meet to work at sea.

Minimum age

Until the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) becomes part of UK law, the minimum age for seafarers is 16, although this is 18 if the work involves any:

  • night work
  • hazardous tasks

Hazardous tasks

Manual tasks on a ship can be hazardous if not done properly, like:

  • lifting
  • hauling
  • mooring
  • towing

Employers of seafarers must ensure their staff:

Medical certification for seafarers

Anyone in charge of a ship must have an ENG1 seafarer medical certificate.

Until the UK makes the MLC law, seafarers’ employment agreements are covered by:

Certificates of competency

Some seafarers will need a certificate of competency before they can carry out certain duties.