10.08.2023

When the bonus payment is "at the discretion of the employer"

When concluding an employment contract with a shipowner, each seafarer should understand that by doing so, he agrees to work under certain conditions for the entire upcoming voyage. This also applies to the wages specified in the contract.

According to Vladimir Sychev, an Instructor of the Kaliningrad Territorial Organization of the Seafarers' Union of Russia, there are situations when representatives of a crewing agency or a shipowner try to attract a candidate by promising additional bonuses that are not stipulated in the contract. They explain, just in words, that the salary stated in the document is the main part of the earnings, and a bonus will be paid monthly on board a vessel, for example, in dollars,- he says.

What is a "bonus"? In fact, this is an award that is paid for conscientiously performed work or for another reason: both are at the discretion of the shipowner. Recently, a seafarer, who returned from another voyage, came to the KTO SUR and asked for assistance in obtaining that very "bonus", which he was guaranteed in words. According to him, the employer regularly paid him what he had promised during the first half of a voyage, and then stopped.

There is no way to help in this situation as the terms of the contract signed by the seafarer have not been violated.

The KTO SUR adds that there are other situations when bonuses are stated in the contract, but with a clause - at the discretion of the employer. This should also be taken into account when you make a decision about employment. The trade union advises: if you are faced with a similar situation, then either demand the inclusion of bonuses in the contract, especially if the employer guarantees to pay them just in words, or keep away from such company. All working conditions must be understandable and transparent, - the SUR is convinced. Be careful - do not let yourself be deceived!

According to KTO SUR; photo by Nikita Vitvitsky for the SUR photo contest "I / We am / are key workers."


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