At Seaspan, we hold true to the principle of “people are our greatest assets” and recognize that we owe our current and future successes to the contributions of all our colleagues. While this means that the health, safety and wellbeing of our people is a top priority, it is by no means the full breadth of our social commitments. We understand the two-way relationship between our business and our current workforce, and the importance of maintaining fair recruitment and retention practices that eliminate all forms of discrimination and promote greater diversity of perspectives and backgrounds.
The Impact of Worker Health and Safety Beyond the Workplace
The health and safety of Seaspan’s employees not only is central to the company’s success, but also indirectly impacts their families and communities. In many cases, Seaspan workers are the primary breadwinners for their families and local communities. It is therefore assumed that any disruption to their ability to work would impact their dependents. This, coupled with the physical and mental demands of work in the maritime industry, makes it critical to ensure the safety of our employees.
EMPLOYEE HEALTH AND SAFETY AT SEA
Instrumental to Seaspan’s operational excellence is a vigorous culture of safety, ingrained at all levels of the organization. This unwavering dedication to safety is complemented by a robust and ever-evolving set of safety standards at the top of Seaspan’s operational excellence agenda.
NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EQUALITY
Seaspan believes that a diverse workforce only strengthens the organization. Non-discrimination and equal opportunity are key to how Seaspan conducts business, and these principles are reflected in its policies and practices. Seaspan is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion across the organization, from recruitment practices to leadership training.
RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF SEAFARERS
Seaspan recognizes the value of seafarer retention as a direct link to enhancing operations and delivering a strong value proposition to customers. Seafarers play a critical role in Seaspan’s operational excellence, and as such, their retention is a priority that is consistently measured as an internal success indicator.
Seaspan’s recruitment approach is primarily focused on developing cadets, selected from specific maritime colleges, into highly competent senior officers. Since 2002, Seaspan has nurtured cadets to become top performing officers and engineers, and many have progressed to Master and Chief Engineer ranks.
Seafarers will typically work onboard Seaspan vessels for 4-9 months at a time. Seaspan recognizes seafarers’ need to reset and spend time outside work during leave periods, to recharge and connect with their families and loved ones.
Given the psychological challenges inherent to seafaring, Seaspan places great emphasis on providing seafarers with the necessary support to maintain their mental and emotional health, as well as building a sense of community on board and on shore. Seaspan has a toll-free, 24/7 ‘Wellness at Sea’ service to support crew members experiencing personal difficulties, and holds on and offshore quarterly social events for seafarers and their families.
RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF CORPORATE EMPLOYEES
Seaspan’s corporate staff across the globe are a core pillar of the business. The attraction, retention and engagement of top talent is a key priority. This holistic approach to employee engagement starts with recruitment, and Seaspan takes a wide-reaching and inclusive approach. We seek out a broad range of candidates, using a variety of sourcing methods , and offer internships across all of our locations to find the best talent from diverse communities and backgrounds. Once “on board”, Seaspan works to grow and develop employees’ skills to provide career progression and many opportunities to engage in fulfilling work.
Despite primary operations at sea, Seaspan has fostered community engagement from local offices all over the world. Regional crewing stations have held programs such as charity tree plantings, children’s art contests, and “friends and family” events, all bringing people together as part of the Seaspan family. Seaspan has also made regular donations to charitable causes in the seafaring community, as well as the communities it operates in, and in the coming years, looks forward to identifying even more ways to expand the Seaspan family, and build stronger relationships with local and global neighbors.
Seaspan has actively engaged with the local community in many regions, establishing itself as an employer of choice through outreach.
Seaspan complies with and supports the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, which safeguards seafarers’ fundamental rights to freedom of association, and provides for effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining. Seafarers employed on board Seaspan vessels are covered under a Collective Bargaining Agreement, negotiated with the Hong Kong Seafarers Co-ordination Committee (Merchant Navy Officers Guild, Amalgamated Union of Seafarers, and the Hong Kong Seamans Union) and through a Special Agreement with the International Transport Workers Federation (ILWU 400 Canada, Maritime Union of India, National Union of Seafarers of India, and Associated Marine Officers and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines). Through these Collective Bargaining Agreements, Seaspan, its seafarers and their trade unions establish fair wages and working conditions favorable to all parties, and ensure equal employment opportunities are followed.
To learn more about Seaspan’s social principles, please explore our Sustainability Report found here as a PDF.