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Employment Agreements - Cayman Islands Yachts


It is the purpose of this guide to highlight the requirement for all crew working onboard Cayman Islands registered yachts to hold a valid contract of employment and to introduce the Oceanskies crew employment and payroll service which provides fully compliant Seafarer Employment Agreements to all yacht crew under our employment.


On the 11th March 2024 a new Cayman Islands Merchant Shipping Act was introduced. 

The new Merchant Shipping Act 2024 (MSA 2024) repeals and replaces the Merchant Shipping Act (2021 Revision) and provides the law underlying the registration and operation of yachts registered in the Cayman Islands.

One of the new requirements introduced by the MSA 2024 is the need for all crew working onboard Cayman registered yachts to be employed under a formal contract of employment containing certain minimum provisions.

The Cayman Islands are one of the world’s leading flag states for the registration of large yachts and therefore this section of the MSA 2024 applies to many crew who are working in the yachting industry.


The official Cayman Maritime guidance notes accompanying MSA 2024 provides the following useful summary of requirements in respect of employment agreements:

4. Employment Agreements for all Seafarers

4.1  All seafarers on Cayman Islands ships and yachts (including “Private Yachts” and “Pleasure Vessels”) must be employed under an agreement signed by both the seafarer and by, or on behalf of, the employer. 

4.2  Employment agreements must contain the following provisions as a minimum – 

1.     (a)  the amount of wages and method of payment; 

2.     (b)  the production of monthly wage accounts; 

3.     (c)  any wage deductions permitted by MSA 2024; 

4.     (d)  entitlement to repatriation and medical expenses; 

5.     (e)  entitlement to leave; 

6.     (f)  notice period required; 

7.     (g)  the agreed place for the return of the seafarer; and 

8.     (h)  the governing law. 

4.3  No right or obligation under MSA 2024 can be renounced by an employment agreement. 

4.4  This requirement for all seafarers to be employed under an employment agreement does not convey any additional rights or entitlements to seafarers, however the actual entitlement must now be included in the employment agreement. For example, there is no statutory entitlement to leave for seafarers serving on Pleasure Vessels. If a seafarer is employed on a Pleasure Vessel with no entitlement to leave, the employment agreement must state this. 

The Oceanskies Crew Employment & Payroll Service

Oceanskies works in support of yacht owners and yacht management companies to provide outsourced crew employment and payroll services to yachts of all sizes.

All crew employed by Oceanskies and its subsidiaries hold contracts of employment known as Seafarer Employment Agreements that meet Cayman Islands requirements.



Fees for employing seafarers through Oceanskies are as follows (per crew member, in EUROS or currency equivalent):

1. One off fee:

Take on of crew member including:

- Checking of qualifications

- Establishment of payroll

- Provision of crew contracts of employment / Seafarers Employment Agreement       


2. Recurring monthly fee:

Employment & Payment of crew member including outbound bank charges:





Further Information

To sign up to the Ocanskies crew employment and payroll service or to request further information about Cayman Islands yacht registration please do not hesitate to contact the team here at Oceanskies.


Relevant Guides

Offshore Yacht Crew Employment & Payroll
Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) & Yachts
French social security obligations for Yacht Crew working onboard yachts flying the French flag or residing in France
Social Security for Yacht Crew Working on Malta Registered Yachts
Employment Agreements - Cayman Islands Yachts

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