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EU Law Amendments To Boost Seafarers' Rights

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

19 November 2013

The European Commission has presented a proposal to include seafarers within the scope of five EU labor law Directives to give them the same information and consultation rights in all 28 member states as on-shore workers in cases of collective redundancies and transfers of undertakings. The proposal would also extend the right to participate in European Works Councils.

Commenting, Laszlo Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, said: "Off-shore and on-shore workers should have equal rights, in particular when it comes to such a fundamental right as information and consultation. This proposal would improve the living and working conditions of seafarers and so help to attract more young people to work in the maritime sector."

The proposal would amend five Directives – the Employer Insolvency Directive, the European Works Councils Directive, the Information and Consultation Directive, the Collective Redundancies Directive, and the Transfer of Undertakings Directive – to ensure that the same rights for seafarers are extended uniformly across all member states.

The changes have been proposed to counteract a fall in the number of seafarers originating from the European Union, particularly young people. Secondly, the proposal aims to foster fairer competition between states in the fisheries and shipping sectors.

The Commission has proposed that, as there are differences between the 28 member states in terms of the nature of their maritime sector, a transition period of five years should be allowed for member states to adapt their domestic legislation.

The proposal will now be put before the European Union's Council of Ministers and the European Parliament for approval.

TAGS: marine

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