European Social Charter

The Committee of Ministers adopts a resolution with regard to Complaint No. 74/2011 concerning the compulsory retirement of seamen in Norway

Fellesforbundet for Sjøfolk (FFFS) v. Norway, Complaint No. 74/2011

[21/10/2013] Further to the decision on the merits of the European Committee of Social Rights adopted on 02/07/2013 with regard to the case Fellesforbundet for Sjøfolk (FFFS) v. Norway (Complaint No. 74/2011), the Committee of Ministers adopted Resolution Res/CM/ChS(2013)17 on 16/10/2013.

The FFFS alleged that the situation in Norway is in violation of Articles 1§2 and 24 of the Charter read alone or in conjunction with Article E due to Section 19§1, subsection 7 of the Seamen’s Act, stipulating that seamen may be given notice of termination of employment solely on the basis of them having reached the age of 62 years. This age-limit amounts to an unjustified prohibition of the seamen’s right to work and disproportionately restricts their protection in case of termination of employment.

In its decision on the merits the European Committee of Social Rights concluded unanimously that there was a violation of Articles 24 and 1§2 of the Revised Social Charter, in view of the fact that under Article 24 the arguments advanced as grounds for the age-limit did not amount to a sufficient justification for the difference in treatment, and that the established difference in treatment constitutes also discrimination contrary to the right to non-discrimination in employment guaranteed under Article 1§2.

In its Resolution, the Committee of Ministers takes note of the information that Norway has repealed the Seamen’s Act of 1975 and has adopted the Maritime Labour Act which came into force on 20 August 2013 section 5-12 first paragraph of which state that employment can be terminated when an employee turns 70; invites Norway to submit all relevant information on the situation on the occasion of the submission of the next report concerning the relevant provisions of the European Social Charter.

All case documents and decisions relative to this complaint may be found on the Collective Complaints website

  Decision on the merits  Resolution Res/CM/ChS(2013)17