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What is the master’s role and legal status in the engagement and discharge of crew of a UK ship?

Crew members of a UK ship are not employed by the master (unless the master also happens to be the shipowner). 

Where the master supervises the engagement and discharge of a crew member, he/she acts as the representative of the crew member’s employer – in legal terms, as the employer’s agent. Where the master signs a Crew Agreement document (e. g. on form ALC 1(d)) he/she signs as the agent of the employer.

 

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