The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) have signed a formal agreement to coordinate their approach to the provision of welfare for seafarers and fishers.
The Memorandum of Understanding sets out the specific responsibilities of the two organisations, including reviewing existing welfare facilities in ports to ensure the correct provision in the right places. It also establishes their joint commitment to sharing information about issues affecting the welfare of seafarers and fishers, seeking advice and consulting on other issues.
The Memorandum formally appoints the MNWB as the UK's National Seafarers' Welfare Board in accordance with the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. The formal agreement demonstrates the UK government's ongoing commitment to seafarer welfare and has most recently included support to get crews home during the pandemic.
UK Maritime Minister Robert Courts said: 'Signing a formal agreement reinforces our commitment to put welfare at the heart of the maritime industry both domestically and internationally, giving seafarers that extra assurance as we rebuild the sector and look to the future.'
As part of the relationship, the MCA will nominate a senior member of staff for appointment to the MNWB's Council of Management and representatives to attend Port Welfare Committees, Forums and Working Groups.
Captain Andrew Cassels, MNWB Chairman said: 'We are delighted that the MCA has formally recognised the ongoing, collaborative work of the Board by formally designating the MNWB as the UK's National Seafarer's Welfare Board. In particular, the agreement recognises the important contributions made by our many constituent member organisations and voluntary Port Welfare Committees.'