Maritime Labour Convention

Risk area 1: Living and working conditions

Since the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC) AMSA has made a significant contribution to improving the living and working conditions of seafarers on vessels. We will continue to apply a zero-tolerance approach to breaches that compromise seafarer welfare. The Maritime Labour Convention 2022 annual report presents an analysis of MLC complaints and follow-up actions undertaken by AMSA in Australia. 

Conditions of employment (Title 2) continue to make up the majority (56.9 per cent) of MLC complaints received in 2022. This includes seafarer employment agreements (SEAs), wages, hours of work and rest, entitlement to leave, repatriation, and crewing levels. There was an increasing trend in complaints related to Health Protection, medical care, welfare, and social security protection (Title 4) (including bullying and harassment) over the last few years (24.3% of all MLC complaints in 2022). 

Health and safety protection and accident prevention (within Title 4) also accounted for 58.5 per cent of all MLC-related PSC deficiencies in 2022. This issue is further evidenced in marine incident data with AMSA recording 195 serious injuries and 9 operational fatalities of seafarers between 2020 and 2022. This suggests that safe working conditions and associated practices remain an issue on board vessels visiting Australia.

We will continue to do our part to ensure seafarers on vessels visiting Australian ports are being afforded the requirements under the MLC.4  

Focus (C)

AMSA will conduct safety education focusing on safe working conditions and practices on board vessels.

Steps ActivityTarget
Publish Safety bulletin on safe working conditions and practicesEducationQuarter 1
Publish Safety bulletin on Title 2: Conditions of employmentEducationQuarter 3

Additional activities

In addition, AMSA will:

  • Undertake a review of Marine Order 11 (Living and working conditions on vessels) 2015 to capture the 2022 Amendments to the MLC, which were approved by the 110th session of the International Labour Conference in June 2022. These amendments will come into force on 23 December 2024. The changes include the requirement to record and report all seafarer fatalities to the ILO, Personal Protective Equipment being fit for purpose, clarification on requirements for medical treatment ashore and where repatriation entitlements end. (C)


4. MLC complaint follow up is done either through an onboard inspection and/or via the flag State. AMSA will also continue to promote the use of the on-board complaints process.