January 31st, 2012

Changes in new ITF Standard Crew Contract Alters Seafarer’s Benefits

New amendments have been made to the ITF standard crew contract is set to significantly alter the basis for seafarers’ benefits including death, illness and disability compensation.

The new ITF standard crew contract will also require crewmembers to observe picket lines established by dockers and to comply with shipboard safety committees and establish proper ITF representation.

The said revision will now require ship owners to provide immediate medical attention for illness or injury of their employees. Also, the new standard contract states that ship owners should continue to pay for the provision until the seafarer is cured.

The new amendment further states that the assessment of a crewmember’s disability can only be determined by an ITF appointed doctor and cannot be challenged by a personal doctor’s opinion or other non ITF appointed doctors.

One of the key provisions in the new amendment is that “Where the liability arises or the costs of expenses are incurred under the terms of a crew agreement or other contract of service or employment and would have not have arisen but for those terms, that liability is not covered by the Association unless and to the extent that those terms shall have been previously approved by the managers in writing.”

Members are now advice to review the re-negotiation of crew contracts as well as existing ones which should be submitted for approval prior to adoption.