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Article Comparison - Maritime Labour Convention - The Regulations and the Code

Regulation 4.5
Social security

Purpose: To ensure that measures are taken with a view to providing seafarers with access to social security protection

1. Each Member shall ensure that all seafarers and, to the extent provided for in its national law, their dependants have access to social security protection in accordance with the Code without prejudice however to any more favourable conditions referred to in paragraph 8 of article 19 of the Constitution.

2. Each Member undertakes to take steps, according to its national circumstances, individually and through international cooperation, to achieve progressively comprehensive social security protection for seafarers.

3. Each Member shall ensure that seafarers who are subject to its social security legislation, and, to the extent provided for in its national law, their dependants, are entitled to benefit from social security protection no less favourable than that enjoyed by shoreworkers.

Standard A4.5 - Social security

1. The branches to be considered with a view to achieving progressively comprehensive social security protection under Regulation 4.5 are: medical care, sickness benefit, unemployment benefit, old-age benefit, employment injury benefit, family benefit, maternity benefit, invalidity benefit and survivors' benefit, complementing the protection provided for under Regulations 4.1, on medical care, and 4.2, on shipowners' liability, and under other titles of this Convention.

2. At the time of ratification, the protection to be provided by each Member in accordance with Regulation 4.5, paragraph 1, shall include at least three of the nine branches listed in paragraph 1 of this Standard.

3. Each Member shall take steps according to its national circumstances to provide the complementary social security protection referred to in paragraph 1 of this Standard to all seafarers ordinarily resident in its territory. This responsibility could be satisfied, for example, through appropriate bilateral or multilateral agreements or contribution-based systems. The resulting protection shall be no less favourable than that enjoyed by shoreworkers resident in their territory.

4. Notwithstanding the attribution of responsibilities in paragraph 3 of this Standard, Members may determine, through bilateral and multilateral agreements and through provisions adopted in the framework of regional economic integration organizations, other rules concerning the social security legislation to which seafarers are subject.

5. Each Member's responsibilities with respect to seafarers on ships that fly its flag shall include those provided for by Regulations 4.1 and 4.2 and the related provisions of the Code, as well as those that are inherent in its general obligations under international law.

6. Each Member shall give consideration to the various ways in which comparable benefits will, in accordance with national law and practice, be provided to seafarers in the absence of adequate coverage in the branches referred to in paragraph 1 of this Standard.

7. The protection under Regulation 4.5, paragraph 1, may, as appropriate, be contained in laws or regulations, in private schemes or in collective bargaining agreements or in a combination of these.

8. To the extent consistent with their national law and practice, Members shall cooperate, through bilateral or multilateral agreements or other arrangements, to ensure the maintenance of social security rights, provided through contributory or non-contributory schemes, which have been acquired, or are in the course of acquisition, by all seafarers regardless of residence.

9. Each Member shall establish fair and effective procedures for the settlement of disputes.

10. Each Member shall at the time of ratification specify the branches for which protection is provided in accordance with paragraph 2 of this Standard. It shall subsequently notify the Director-General of the International Labour Office when it provides social security protection in respect of one or more other branches stated in paragraph 1 of this Standard. The Director-General shall maintain a register of this information and shall make it available to all interested parties.

11. The reports to the International Labour Office pursuant to article 22 of the Constitution, shall also include information regarding steps taken in accordance with Regulation 4.5, paragraph 2, to extend protection to other branches.

Guideline B4.5 - Social security

1. The protection to be provided at the time of ratification in accordance with Standard A4.5, paragraph 2, should at least include the branches of medical care, sickness benefit and employment injury benefit.

2. In the circumstances referred to in Standard A4.5, paragraph 6, comparable benefits may be provided through insurance, bilateral and multilateral agreements or other effective means, taking into consideration the provisions of relevant collective bargaining agreements. Where such measures are adopted, seafarers covered by such measures should be advised of the means by which the various branches of social security protection will be provided.

3. Where seafarers are subject to more than one national legislation covering social security, the Members concerned should cooperate in order to determine by mutual agreement which legislation is to apply, taking into account such factors as the type and level of protection under the respective legislations which is more favourable to the seafarer concerned as well as the seafarer's preference.

4. The procedures to be established under Standard A4.5, paragraph 9, should be designed to cover all disputes relevant to the claims of the seafarers concerned, irrespective of the manner in which the coverage is provided.

5. Each Member which has national seafarers, non-national seafarers or both serving on ships that fly its flag should provide the social security protection in the Convention as applicable, and should periodically review the branches of social security protection in Standard A4.5, paragraph 1, with a view to identifying any additional branches appropriate for the seafarers concerned.

6. The seafarers' employment agreement should identify the means by which the various branches of social security protection will be provided to the seafarer by the shipowner as well as any other relevant information at the disposal of the shipowner, such as statutory deductions from the seafarers' wages and shipowners' contributions which may be made in accordance with the requirements of identified authorized bodies pursuant to relevant national social security schemes.

7. The Member whose flag the ship flies should, in effectively exercising its jurisdiction over social matters, satisfy itself that the shipowners' responsibilities concerning social security protection are met, including making the required contributions to social security schemes.