After some confusion coming our way from crew and members of the industry about what was required by law when it comes to providing references and employment confirmations for yacht crew, we thought we would clarify exactly what is required.

Under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC), all that must be provided is a record of employment, confirming that particular crewmember worked on the yacht, under a certain position for a certain length of time. This record of employment must not contain any reference to the person’s personality traits or quality of work.

It is down to the flag state to allocate the person who must provide this record of employment, but in most cases it will be a representative of the owner.

“Each member shall adopt laws or regulations requiring that ships that fly its flag comply with the following requirements”, reads the convention, which then says, “Seafarers shall be given a document containing a record of their employment on board the ship.”

So while a record of employment is a legal requirement under the MLC, there are no legal requirements whatsoever to provide a reference pertaining to a crewmember’s work ethic, attitude and personality traits.

For further information on records of employment, refer to the MLC Standard A.2, paragraph 1, sub-paragraph E.


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