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Yacht Crew | Praxis

Crew employment services – a shore-based extra pair of hands for captains

7 February 2024 . By Jordon Martel.

The charter season for dual season yachts is in full swing and with the Med season just a couple of months away, Jordon Martel looks at the benefits of using a specialist crew employment provider.

 

What does a crew employment service do?

Crew employment and payroll is one of the yacht industry’s many unregulated services. Although having a formalised arrangement in place with an industry specialist is not mandatory, it is certainly good practice, not least to ensure industry-compliant employment contracts are issued. The benefits, comfort, and security that it provides to captains, owners and crew often dispels any uncertainty over whether to have such a provider in place.

Employing people from all over the world brings with it many complexities and the global nature of yacht ownership means multinational crew may become resident somewhere by virtue of time spent in a location. Meeting the legal obligation of various social security laws and regulations can be daunting so appointing specialists can provide comfort to owners and crew that the correct procedures are being taken, which protects all parties. In-house expertise is also on hand for when the employment does not run so smoothly.

 

Why should yacht owners and captains use it?

Captains have many responsibilities onboard, but none more important than ensuring the safety of the yacht, its crew, and any guests. Whether an owner is looking for a basic service for their first yacht, or wants a more in-depth service, the fundamental purpose of having a crew employment and payroll provider is the same. Appointing a third party to provide basic crew employment and payroll services lightens the captain’s load with the comfort of having specialists carry out pre-employment screening of crew and their qualifications to ensure that they are suitably qualified for the role they will be employed onboard.

Opting for a more extensive package such as our own Crew Classic service can provide additional benefits such as support from a dedicated crew services officer and ongoing monitoring to ensure compliance with maritime law that add extra value – effectively providing the captain with a shore-based extra pair of hands.

Using a corporate structure

Many of our clients decide to use a company or partnership to hold their vessel, which provides the owner with asset protection by effectively ‘ring-fencing’ their yacht from the rest of their estate. Praxis is able to assist in the setting up and administration of such structures.

 

What are the potential risks of not using a crew employment service?

Employing multinational crew and travelling between yacht destinations including the Med and Caribbean brings with it the challenge of navigating various laws and regulations, including social security. Staying up to date to ensure compliance with the ever-changing legal requirements can be challenging depending on the owner’s level of experience and time available.

The main risk is the safety aspect, which has the potential to affect everyone on board if the ongoing training and operational requirements have not been met. Yachts require trained and skilled crew and without a good hiring procedure yacht owners may miss out on the best and most-qualified crew, as they choose to work on a yacht which uses a professional crew management system.

 

Summary

While an owner may choose to self-manage a crew, the benefits from a time, risk reduction and benefits perspective can make working with an expert provider are well worth the investment.

Praxis Yacht Services has the added advantage of having in-house Yacht Management and Yacht Ownership services, which means owners can let us take care of all aspects of the yacht with one provider.

 

Please note that this article is intended to provide a general overview of the matters to which it relates. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be relied upon as such. Any engagement in respect of our professional services is subject to our standard terms and conditions of business and the provision of all necessary due diligence. © Praxis 2024

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