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For the yachting professional on the Mediterranean

Voyonic Group

Article by Chris Clifford

Voyonic Group

CREW MATTERS


Developing compliant Crew HR Policies is not just a load of red tape, it is a vital part of employment so everyone understands the procedures and policies

No matter what size of crew you may have or whatever the nationalities of the crew might be, the importance of having a set of compliant documented crew HR policies cannot be over emphasised.

Whilst the legislation governing employment differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction most of that legislation shares a simple concept, treating individuals fairly and reasonably. In simpler terms a guiding principle is to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself.

The flag of the vessel will obviously dictate the terms of the Seafarer Employment Agreement and to some extent the key policies that need to be in place but it is always advisable to add others to cover of as many aspects of the employment relationship as practicable.

Voyonic Group
Voyonic Group

Like all relationships the employment relationship may be happy and easy going but as we know that can change in an instant and unfortunately that is where a policy and supporting procedures need to be robust.

Documenting HR policies is an easy way to help manage a workforce because if it is written down and each crew member has seen that and ideally signed to the effect that they have seen and understood those policies, when it comes to management, reference can be made to the agreed policies and procedures.

It shouldn’t only be the major matters in a working relationship that are documented, but also the day-to-day simple things, such as the use of personal mobile phones whilst on duty, keeping areas clean and tidy, appearance etc. It should all be laid down so that there is no room for doubt.

The management of people is a complex area and the more of the relationship that is documented and agreed from the outset the greater the reduction in scope for argument and interpretation of the ‘rules’. People being people, even when you think that you have it all documented, it is better to cover this in a comprehensive handbook
and minimise the areas of interpretation! HR policies and procedures should be referenced in any employment agreement so that they form an integral part of the contract which is why it is important that when onboarding crew they have sight of the hand book and are given time to read and understand the contents and then sign this off to the effect that they have done this.

When engaging with crew on various employment and HR matters, it is always useful to continually encourage them to refer to the HR policies themselves. This helps to ensure that crew remain aware and familiar with the content of the policies and procedures.

At the Voyonic Group we have a senior management team with a wealth of experience that specialises in HR management. We can work with clients to create a tailored approach best suited to their requirements. Our role helps you to not only find the best crew but to also ensure that you run a happy team and retain those crew members and keep crew turnover to a minimum.

For more details Tel: +44 (0)1481 711828 or visit www.voyonic.com

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