Chapter 3 Employment of Seafarers
When employing a seafarer, the employer shall sign a written employment contract with the seafarer. The seafarer employed shall not work on board a ship until the contract is sent to the shipping administration authority for future reference. The same shall apply for the contract is terminated thereto.
The exemplar of the employment contract for employing seafarers shall be prescribed by the shipping administration authority.
When employing a minor as a seafarer, the employer shall obtain the written approval of the minor’s guardian.
The employer shall provide on board the ship of the texts of the relevant laws and regulations, the necessary medicines and medical equipment.
The standards for the provision mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall be prescribed by the competent authority.
The employer shall provide proper quantity and quality of foods, bedrooms, bedding and tableware, working protectors, clothes, and those hats and shoes appropriate for various weather conditions.
The employer shall establish seafarers’ working regulations and submit the same to the shipping administration authority for future reference.
Seafarers shall obey the employer’s instructions given within the scope of its supervision.
The lower rank seafarers are obliged to obey the orders given by the higher rank ones within the scope of their supervision. Nevertheless, the lower rank seafarers are entitled to state their opinions, if any.
No seafarer shall leave the ship without permission.
The employment contract will immediately be terminated upon occurrence of the ship is sunk, missing or becomes unseaworthy, provided that the seafarers of that ship survive.
The seafarers who need to work in order to salvage a ship, human lives or cargoes in emergencies condition, their contracts shall remain effective for the said working period.
If any seafarers survive as provided in Paragraph 1 and the employer has no other ship or position for the seafarer to work continually, the employer is entitled to terminate the employment contract by offering severance pays in accordance with Article 39 of This Act.
If there is no any news or information about a ship for two months, the ship shall be deemed as missing.
The employer is entitled to terminate the employment contract if a seafarer commits any of the following situations:
1. Where misrepresents any fact at the time of signing of the employment contract in a manner which might mislead his employer and cause him to sustain damage therefrom.
2. Where commits a violent act against or grossly insults the employer, his (or her) agent, or a fellow worker or family members of the above persons.
3. Where has been sentenced to temporary imprisonment in a final and conclusive judgment, and is not granted a suspended sentence or permitted to commute the sentence to payment of a fine.
4. Where is in serious breach of the employment contract or in serious violation of work rules.
5. Where deliberately destroying or stealing ship equipment, accessories or cargoes.
6. Where is, without good cause, disobey the employer’s or master’s instructions to go on board the ship.
Where the employer desires to terminate the employment contract pursuant to the preceding paragraph, shall give the seafarer a written notice.
Where the employer desires to terminate the employment contract pursuant to terms 1 and 2, Items 4 to 6 of the preceding paragraph, shall do so within thirty days from the date he (or she) becomes aware of the particular situation.
The seafarer is entitled to terminate the employment contract if any of the following situations occur:
1. The ship loses its nationality;
2. The employer misrepresents any fact at the time of signing of the employment contract in a manner which might mislead the seafarer and cause him to sustain damage therefrom;
3. A doctor has issued a certificate of diagnosis to verify that the seafarer suffers from physical or mental impairment that prevents him/her from engaging in the work consistently;
4. The employer, his (or her) agent, or family members of the above persons commits violence or grossly insults or threat to the seafarer;
5. The environment of work is likely to be injurious to the seafarer's health and the seafarer has without success requested his (or her) employer to improve working conditions;
6. The employer breaches the employment contract or violates any labor statute or administrative regulation in a manner likely to adversely affect the rights and interests of the seafarer;
7. The employer fails to pay wage and allowance in accordance with the employment contract; or
8. The other fellow workers carry epidemic disease and there is a possibility that the seafarer may contract this disease.
The employer shall not, even by advance notice to the seafarer, terminate the employment contract unless one of the following situation arises:
1. The business ceases to operate or has been transferred.
2. The business suffers an operating loss or contraction.
3. Business suspension for more than one month is necessitated by force majeure.
4. A change in business nature requires a reduction of seafarers and the particular seafarers cannot be assigned to another suitable position.
5. The seafarer is clearly not able to perform satisfactorily the duties required of the position held.
Where the employer terminates the contract pursuant to the preceding paragraph, the stipulations described below shall govern the minimum period of advance notice:
1. Where the seafarer has worked continuously for more than three months but less than one year, the notice shall be given ten days in advance.
2. Where the seafarer has worked continuously for more than one year but less than three years, the notice shall be given twenty days in advance.
3. Where the seafarer has worked continuously for more than three years, the notice shall be given thirty days in advance.
When a seafarer is on maternity leave, or in medical treatment of injury or illness resulted from performing the duties, the employer shall not terminate the employment contract, unless the employer cannot continue the business or the ship sunk, missed or became totally unseaworthy caused by acts of god, accidents or force majeure.
Where the employer terminates the contract without serving an advance notice within the time limit prescribed in the second paragraph of this Article, he shall pay the wage and allowance for the advance notice period.
In the case of the seafarer terminating a non-fixed term contract, the provisions of Paragraph 2 of this Article pertaining to the prescribed time limit for serving advance notice shall apply mutatis. The seafarer who intends to terminate a fixed term contract, shall give the employer or the master thirty days advance notice.
Where the seafarers agree the transfer of serving ships owned by the same employer, the original contract shall remain effective before the new contract is signed.
If a fixed term employment contract expires during the period of voyage, the contract is to be terminated at 48 hours after the ship arrives at the first calling port.
Where the employment contract was suspended for cause but the seafarer resumes to perform the contract continuously, or an existing contract is renewed, within three months after the expiration of a fixed-term contract for cause, the seafarers’ service period which accrued before the execution or renewal of the contract shall be combined with the service period of the new or renewed contract in any computation of service period. Computation of seniority of service shall include all the years of a seafarer who works on the same ship or different ships owned or operated by the same corporate body, except that the seafarer who has received a severance pay or retirement pension upon termination of contract.
Foreign employers can hire the R.O.C. seafarers only after applying to the shipping administration authority for approval. The regulations on the qualifications and application procedures , conditions of approval, revocation, duties, employment, employment management and other relevant matters shall be prescribed by the competent authority.
An employer hiring foreign national seafarers shall apply to the shipping administration authority for permission. The regulations on the application qualifications and procedures, conditions of permission, annulment, cancellation, duties, employment, employment management, foreign national seafarers to total employed seafarers ratio and other related matters shall be prescribed by the competent authority.
Seafarers, cadets, probationary workers serving on board a ship shall apply to the local shipping administration authority for permission. The regulations on the application qualifications and procedures, repeal of permission, cancellation, employment, duties, management of seaworthiness rules and other related matters shall be prescribed by the competent authority.