Money worries are almost universal but they can be made worse in shipping as the financial crisis since 2008 is putting pressure on many ship owners and manning agents driving down wages. Many of you may be stressed about managing financially both now and for the future. Crew wages are regulated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) so you should always check that you are receiving the minimum wage as negotiated by the ILO. If you are sailing under an International Transort Workers' Federation (ITF) contract of employment, payment to ILO standards is also an entitlement.

For Able Bodied (AB) seafarers the minimum wage for basic pay as set out by the ILO is US$614 per month or £482. For Masters it is US$2069 or £1625. Overtime should be calculated at 1.25 the normal hourly rate based on a standard 48 hour maximum working week of 72 hours. Leave is also reimbursed at 2.5 days per month at a rate of 1/30 the monthly basic wage. You are entitled to be paid regularly and be able to tranmit monies to your family at home. You should not be charged unreasonable fees, be fined at work or be subject to unreasonable exchange rates.

The Mission to Seafarers' Flying Angel Seafarers' Centres can help when you are having money worries. We cannot give any financial advice, but may be able to sign post you to ways of seeking help.

For more information on wages, please also refer to the Maritime Labour Convention (2006) section 2.2. (Opens in a new window.)