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Increase in unpaid wages and unfair dismissal calls to Nautilus emergency helpline

18 January 2023

Unpaid wages, unfair dismissal and cases of abuse or bullying reported the Union's emergency round the clock helpline (Nautilus 24/7) rose in 2022.

Unpaid wages accounted for the largest increase of cases reported – 15% last year compared with 4.7% in 2021. Unfair dismissal cases nearly doubled and made up 11% of cases in 2022, a rise from 6.6% in 2021, while reports of abuse or bullying also rose from 1.8% in 2021 to 2.5% in 2022.

The helpline also continued to support a large number of members with other emergencies after hours.

While 2022 saw a slight decrease in the total number of new cases (519) received overall by Nautilus 24/7 compared with 2021 (618), the total number of new cases is still 1.5 times higher than the pre-pandemic period in 2019 (316).

The latest figures cover a period from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022. Each new case represents a new contact to the N24/7 helpline. The 519 new cases in 2022 involved 550 seafarers in total, including group contacts with crew onboard the same vessels. Helpline staff also conducted 620 follow-up activities.

Although most of the contacts were from individual seafarers, in 2022 there was an increase in group contacts made by seafarers from 1.9% to 2.9%.

During the height of the pandemic in 2020 the service answered 774 new cases, which involved 865 successive contacts involving a total of 2,084 seafarers.

The helpline has seen a slight decrease in contacts regarding health and medical problems since Covid-19 related-restrictions lifted – 4.1% in 2022, compared with 5.6% in 2021. Psychological issues accounted for 0.16% of calls in 2022, compared with  1.7% in 2021. Repatriation issues, a big problem during the crew change crisis, also improved accounting for 3.8% of cases in 2022, compared with 5.6% in 2021.

Although the helpline is for existing Nautilus members, 2022 also saw a marked increase in membership enquiries from non-member seafarers asking how to join the Union – 8.3% compared with 6.9% in 2021.

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Nautilus 24/7

As a helpline for Nautilus members at the Union's branches in the UK, Netherlands and Switzerland, the Nautilus 24/7 service is for members needing emergency after hours help. Nautilus 24/7 does not replace the normal office hours service provided by Union staff and officials in those branches, and it does not provide legal advice. Call staff are also able to live chat to members, transfer members, or forward emails to the Union's branch offices during a European or UK working day, or liaise on the member's behalf with the appropriate Union department to progress issues outside office hours.

For non-urgent matters members should email the relevant departments listed on the N24/7 page.


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