SEAFARERS’ EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS
A written employment contract must be concluded between the seafarer and the shipowner or the employer or the one who has assumed the responsibilities of the shipowner or the employer. The contract must be concluded no later than at the start of the employment; and for ship-employed seafarers no later than at the start of the service on board. The seafarer must have a chance of going through the employment contract and seeking advice about its terms before signing it.Contents of the employment contract
The seafarer must receive a copy of the employment contract signed by the shipowner/employer or the one who has assumed the responsibilities of the shipowner or the employer. There is no requirement for a special form of the seafarer's employment contract.The employment contract must contain information about all conditions of importance to the employment as they are stipulated in the Executive Order. When the seafarer or the employer terminates the employment, the date hereof as well as how the employment has been terminated must be given in writing.
As regards some of the information about the employment, the shipowner's information obligation is considered met if the employment contract refers to acts, administrative provisions or collective agreements pertaining to the relevant conditions.
If a collective agreement constitutes the entire or parts of the seafarer's employment contract, the shipowner must ensure that a copy of this collective agreement is available on board. As regards ships engaged on international voyages, only the parts of or the collective agreements subject to port State control inspections must be available in English.
A copy of the employment contract must be available on board
The seafarer must bring along or, before the ship's departure, procure a copy of the employment agreement for the master, who must keep it on board for as long as the employee serves on board. The seafarer's signature must be evident from the copy when it is handed over on board. As regards ships engaged on international voyages, an English copy of any standard form used must also be available on board.
Act on seafarers' conditions of employment, etc., section 72
The master must ensure that a copy of the act and the provisions issued pursuant hereof is available on board in Faroese and English and is available to the seafarers.
Executive Order on discharge books (Seaman´s book)
A seafarer who is a Faroese citizen must, when signing on, hold a Faroese discharge book. However, this is the case only when he or she signs on in a position covered by the ship's minimum safe manning document. The master of the ship must in connection with the signing on and signing off of seafarers fill in and sign the seafarer's Faroese discharge book.
As regards other Faroese seafarers and foreign seafarers, the master must upon request confirm the employment by endorsing the relevant person's discharge book or in some other way, for example through a special statement.
A filled in discharge book or a written statement from the master is considered sufficient recording of the seafarer's employment to meet the provision of Standard A2.1, paragraph 1e.
Act on seafarers' conditions of employment, etc., sections 5, 37, 45, etc., Provisions on notice of termination and resignation/dismissal
Notice of termination
Able-bodied seafarers must be given or give 7 days' notice unless otherwise agreed by contract or by collective agreement. The seafarer can have a shorter notice than the shipowner, but not the other way around.
Ship's officers must in general be given or give 3 months' notice if the officer is engaged through an open-ended contract. However, the shipowner's notice cannot be less than 1 month during the first year. If the officer is engaged on a time contract, the notice will typically be shorter and in general either 1 month or 7 days. Just as is the case for able-bodied seafarers, shorter notice cannot be agreed for the shipowner than for the officer.
Resignation/dismissal (unilateral termination of the contract without notice before the expiry of the employment period)
By the seafarer
The act contains a number of provisions entitling the seafarer to terminate the contract without notice (resignation). For example in cases where the ship is unseaworthy, is to call at a port with a virulent epidemic or no longer flies the Faroese flag. In each individual case, certain conditions must be met that are described in more detail in the individual provisions of the act. Thus, the regulation of Standard A.2.1, paragraph 6, is met.
By the shipowner
Furthermore, the act contains provisions entitling the shipowner/master to terminate the seafarer's employment without notice in case of, for example, incompetence, missing the ship, gross neglect by the seafarer, repeated disobedience, violent behaviour or drunkenness on board, etc. Thus, the regulation in Standard A.2.1, paragraph 6, is met.
Special regulations apply to the master meeting the requirements of Standard A.2.1, paragraph 6.