According to the latest version of the Guidance on Eliminating Shipboard Harassment and Bullying jointly published by the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers' Federation, bullying is a form of harassment that includes hostile or vindictive behaviour, causing the recipient to feel threatened or intimidated. It results in a work environment in which a group of people or an individual may become threatened or intimidated because of the negative or hostile behaviour of another group of people or individual. Bullying may involve a misuse of power or position and is often persistent and unpredictable. It may be vindictive, cruel or malicious. However, it can also arise when a person is unaware of the effect that their behaviour is having on other persons, or does not have any intention to bully.
Harassment is a form of discrimination which has the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
Bullying and harassment is never acceptable and there should be systems in place to ensure crew are able to report bullying and harassment safely and confidentially. All employers should have clear policies in place for dealing with shipboard bullying and harassment, and crew should feel comfortable to report incidents in line with company procedures. Useful guidance on this can be downloaded below.
There are many reasons why crew suffering from bullying or harassment on board may contact us at Yacht Crew Help. We can offer a listening ear to those who want to talk about how they’re feeling, in their own language, either before or during a complaints process. Reporting incidents can feel very daunting and we’re here to support you through anything you’re worried about.
If you are a member of a professional organisation such as Nautilus or the PYA, then you should consult them if you are being bullied or harassed on board. It is especially important to seek help if you feel a report of bullying, harassment or abuse has been ignored or is still ongoing despite measures to tackle it.
If you are not currently a member of a union, you can find out about the benefits of joining here.
Yacht Crew Help is here all day, every day to help find all of the support that is available to you.