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Are you employed by a Jersey registered crew management company? Non enforceable contracts!
Neil and Debbie
Posted: Saturday, October 8, 2011 11:46 AM
Joined: 05/02/2011
Posts: 2

If you are employed by a Jersey based employment crew management company beware. If you do not actually work in Jersey then your contract is unenforceable. If you are unfairly dismissed, are subject to discrimination or are owed monies then your claim will not be heard by the Jersey Employment Tribunal or by a civil court. Article 101 of the employment (Jersey) Law provides that '...this Law shall only apply to employment where the employee works wholly or mainly in Jersey' I wonder how many crews are actually aware that these contracts are not worth the paper they are written on. I wonder if an employer insisted that you comply with the contract terms or they would threaten all sorts of actions, if those actions could also be enforced? Hopefully you will not have any problems but if you do, DO NOT expect any protection from your contract! Does anybody have any more information or experience regarding this? Most employers act responsibly, but my recent experience forced me to make a stand. Unfortunately it seems that I can not!
Captain Andy
Posted: Saturday, October 8, 2011 8:19 PM
Joined: 17/09/2008
Posts: 93

Yes you can make a stand!! What Flag state is your Yacht? Forget the Management Company .... go for the jugular! I won't bore you with details, but if your Flag state is a Crown Territory or Dependancy of the UK, then you need to work out if that Territory or Dependancy is subject to orders made in Privvy. This is how Her Majesty exerts UK laws onto the majority of Her Territories or Dependancies. The good news is that the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, amongst other shipping acts, are enforced by orders made in Privvy which bypass the English Parliament. You now have two options: either spend a few hours researching this on Google, or alternatively calling the Flag State Shipping Registry (telephone help line found on Google also!) and discussing with them your situation. Many reputable Flags take a dim view of any activity which directly effects crew morale and well being .... especially stoppage of pay! Speak to the Flag Registry as soon as possible for your problem to be investigated and resolved. If you would like further advice, please email me directly at
Posted: Sunday, October 9, 2011 11:10 AM
Joined: 05/02/2011
Posts: 2

Many thanks for the response Captain Andy. I will do some research as you suggest though we are considering just taking it on the chin and moving on. Lesson learnt. The vessel is UK flagged and is used only privately. We were employed as Captain and Chef. I believe these types of contract are quite common and regardless of the 'agent' being your employer they will only pay if the owner pays, and it seems some owners think it quite acceptable not to!
Posted: Sunday, October 9, 2011 11:55 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

Follow Andy's advice. File a complaint, employment conditions are taken seriously by flag states. After you file get back to work and forget about it. Perhaps in future you will be pleasantly surprised. Not long ago a familiar Red Ensign yacht was detained for illegal charter, paperwork problems. Upon investigation many outstanding complaints for non payment of contractors, crew, marinas were uncovered and this yacht is chained to the dock pending resolution of these issues.
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