Thursday, February 13, 2014

Maritime Labour Convention Prompts Healthcare Insurance Scheme for Shipping Company Staff

Lines Can Protect Seafarers with Comprehensive Cover Which Addresses Legal Requirements
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Global health insurer Allianz Worldwide Care has launched a new plan which offers a compliant solution for onshore healthcare to shipping companies affected by the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006), which came into force in August of last year and requires shipping companies to provide comprehensive rights and protection to the world’s 1.2 million seafarers, including the provision of a minimum level of healthcare cover.

While created by the International Labour Organisation in 2001, to be enforced, the MLC had to be ratified by at least 30 member states. This was achieved on August 20, 2012, with the Convention officially coming into force exactly one year later. Currently, 56 countries have ratified the convention, which does not apply to fishing vessels, war ships or traditional build ships. Speaking about the launch of the Maritime Healthcare Plan, Susan Landers, Head of Marketing and Client Management at Allianz Worldwide Care said:

“The convention addresses a number of basic employment rights, amongst them fair employment terms and the right to health protection and medical care. Essentially, the goal is to ensure that seafarers are provided with a minimum standard of working conditions.

“Allianz Worldwide Care took a pro-active approach to create a healthcare plan which addresses all of the MLC 2006 mandatory in-patient and out-patient medical requirements, as well as offering a number of optional in-patient, out-patient, dental and repatriation benefits. This allows employers to provide a higher level of healthcare cover and a more attractive employee benefit in this competitive industry where there is a scarcity of qualified and experienced maritime staff.

“The MLC is already in force in many countries including Cyprus, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden, where shipping companies are obligated to provide a minimum level of health protection and medical care to employees. Maritime companies in other countries such as the UK, France, Germany and Belgium can make provisions now as their markets prepare for the implementation of the Convention in 2014.”