PaSea clarifies Hours of Work and Rest interpretation for seafarers

Maritime risk prevention firm, Prevention at Sea (PaSea), has raised concerns about the different interpretations attributed to MLC 2006 Regulation 2.3 Hours of work and hours of rest, para. 5(b) and para. 6, specifically with regards to the phrase ‘in any 24-hour period’ used when calculating crew work schedules to ensure that sufficient rest periods are taken.

Petros Achtypis, CEO of PaSea, has brought this issue to the attention of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO’s) Labour Standards Department requesting clarification on whether the interpretation provided by his team were correct.

Specifically, the issue raised revolves around checks ‘in any 24-hour period’ and whether such checks should commence during a seafarer’s rest period.

PaSea’s stance is that this should be avoided and the reasons for this opinion is based on the fact that:

  • By not taking into consideration a part of the seafarer’s undisrupted rest period, irregularities may occur which could result in a violation of the regulations.
  •  The seafarer’s rest period should not be split into parts/sections, regardless if the rest period commenced during the previous day.For example, if a seafarer’s rest period was between 2000 of day 1 and 0400 of day 2, then the undisrupted rest time is 8 hours in total.Therefore, the beginning of ‘in any 24 h period’ checking during the rest period 2000 (day 1) – 0400 (day 2) i.e. starting at 2100, 2130, 2200, 2300 etc., should be avoided.PaSea recommends that when scheduling work patterns for crew, the ‘in any 24h period’ should commence at the start of any period of work by moving backwards 24 hours.This type of calculation clearly indicates whether the seafarer has received adequate rest in accordance with the regulations before the commencement of a new work- related task.Although the Constitution of the International Labour Office confers no special competence upon the ILO to interpret Conventions and any comment is without prejudice to what the supervisory bodies of the ILO may have to say about the issue, PaSea understands that the ILO’s Labour Standards Department supports and shares the same interpretation as PaSea.

    Examples of different scenarios are available from PaSea to demonstrate how using this system of checking ensures that the seafarer’s welfare is the priority and that only when proper rest periods have been taken should another work related task begin.


    To contact PaSea call +357 24819800 or visit the website