Welfare Schemes for Seafarers
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) provides conciliatory services to resolve disputes between serving seafarers and their employers on matters relating to the articles of agreement on board Singapore-registered ships. The majority of cases handled pertain to claims for wages, dismissal, medical benefits and Workmen's Compensation.
The educational grant scheme provides financial assistance to serving registered seafarers to attend relevant courses to upgrade themselves and to improve on their qualifications. The grant comprises the actual course fee together with a subsistence allowance of $300 per month on pro-rated basis for full time courses.
Long Service Retirement Award
In recognition of our seafarers’ long service, registered seafarers who have been sailing for at least 15 years and retire at the age of 60 and above will be given cash awards of $1,000 for (15 to 19 years of service), $2,000 (for 20 to 24 years of service), $3,000 (for 25 to 29 years of service) or $4,000 (for 30 or more years of service).
Special Relief Fund For Seafarers
This fund was set up to provide immediate financial assistance to the dependents of Singaporean seafarers found missing at sea. The fund is necessary because insurers normally adhere to a seven-year waiting period under common law before claims in respect of missing persons are met.
Under the relief scheme, a maximum of 12 monthly cash advances worked out on the basis of the missing seafarer's earnings-prior to his disappearance will be disbursed to his dependants. An advance of up to $2,000 to meet the urgent needs of the family is also given where such need is established. The dependants of a missing seafarer who have been granted financial assistance will have to repay the Authority the money they receive after they obtained compensation from the employer or insurer.
This scheme provides for assistance of up to $1,000 to the next-of-kin in the event of the death of a registered seafarer, to help bereaved families meet urgent and immediate financial needs. It is also provided to registered seafarer who are met with unforeseen hardships such as natural calamities, fire, terminal or serious permanent sickness and accidents.
Singapore Stranded Seafarers Fund (SSSF)
The SSSF was created in July 1999 with an initial sum of $300,000. The fund was created to ensure that crew welfare onboard are being taken care of in the event that employers failed to fulfill their obligations due to bankruptcy or insolvency. It would be used to provide the crew with the necessities e.g. food, water supply and fuel for the ship until the crew has been repatriated or when the dispute is settled.
The fund is jointly funded and administered by MPA and the Singapore two maritime unions – the Singapore Officers’ Maritime Union (SMOU) and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS).
In the event that the seafarer is unable to claim any compensation, an outright grant of $1,000 may be granted to the dependants.
Repatriation of Crew
In a move to further improve the welfare of the crew, MPA promulgated the MS(Repatriation)(Amendment) Regulations in April 2002. The amended regulation empowers the Director of Marine to make arrangements for and to meet the cost of repatriation of the crew in advance to ease the hardship of the crew if the employers, due to unforeseen circumstances, fail to fulfill their responsibility. Any costs and expenses incurred by the Director of Marine in making such provision will be recovered from the employers later.
For further enquiries on these schemes, please contact MPA at (+65) 6375 6224 or email us at: MMO_MPA@mpa.gov.sg.
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