Issues arise in every industry, and when it comes to unpaid wages and benefits, Nautilus International assists yacht crewmembers with issues, including late payments. They shared that in 2022, they helped recover more than £2.75 million for yacht crew, a record number for the union and the majority of which was unpaid wages.
This number is more than the yacht and legal departments recovered in 2020 and 2021 combined — £943,000 in 2021, which was the previous largest figure of money recovered, and £720,000 in 2020.
The figure reflects the growth of crew in the yachting industry, and more than half of their new members in 2022 came from yachting. “It’s the fastest growing sector for the Union, which reflects the ongoing need for protection from unfair treatment among yacht professionals,” says Derek Byrne, head of Nautilus’s yacht sector.
The increase of recovered money is also attributed to cases of non-payment for crew aboard Russian-owned yachts, which have been affected by sanctions due to the war in Ukraine.
“We are proud to have helped so many of our members receive the pay that they have earned, but which had been denied to them before our intervention,” he says. “Maritime professionals work hard and deserve to be paid their wages on time and in full.”
He also mentioned that “2022 was a difficult year for many in the sector. It goes to show that global events can and will impact seafarers in unexpected ways.”
Approximately 20 percent of members’ cases that were started in 2022 remained in progress into the following year. “In 2023, we expect the number of unpaid wages cases to remain high. It’s clear that many yacht owners and operators — from countries around the world — are still unwilling to pay their crew on time for work delivered,” Byrne says. “It’s important for crew to be members of Nautilus before this situation arises so that they are entitled to our full assistance and legal protection.”