Greens MP moves amendment to Navigation Act

Greens MP [Member for Melbourne] and workplace relations spokesperson Adam Bandt has successfully amended legislation before the Federal Parliament to protect seafarer's right to sick pay.

Moving the amendment to the Navigation Amendment Bill 2011, Mr Bandt said "seafarers should not have to be ill for seven days before they get protection."

"The Greens support the Navigation Bill. It will implement into Australian law a number of important provisions in the Maritime Labour Convention," Mr Bandt told Parliament late last night.

"It is a bill of rights for seafarers."

"One of those important rights is the right to get medical care. However, there is no reason to impose a minimum qualifying period of seven days, as was set out in the bill, before medical care is to be made available."

"It is not something that is required in the convention. It is not something that would be a common standard in society. One could readily imagine instances in which someone would be ill for a period of fewer than seven days but nonetheless deserving of protection."