Unpaid wages, unfair dismissal and cases of abuse or bullying reported the Union's emergency round the clock helpline (Nautilus 24/7) rose in 2022.
Unpaid wages accounted for the largest increase of cases reported – 15% last year compared with 4.7% in 2021. Unfair dismissal cases nearly doubled and made up 11% of cases in 2022, a rise from 6.6% in 2021, while reports of abuse or bullying also rose from 1.8% in 2021 to 2.5% in 2022.
The helpline also continued to support a large number of members with other emergencies after hours.
While 2022 saw a slight decrease in the total number of new cases (519) received overall by Nautilus 24/7 compared with 2021 (618), the total number of new cases is still 1.5 times higher than the pre-pandemic period in 2019 (316).
The latest figures cover a period from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022. Each new case represents a new contact to the N24/7 helpline. The 519 new cases in 2022 involved 550 seafarers in total, including group contacts with crew onboard the same vessels. Helpline staff also conducted 620 follow-up activities.
Although most of the contacts were from individual seafarers, in 2022 there was an increase in group contacts made by seafarers from 1.9% to 2.9%.
During the height of the pandemic in 2020 the service answered 774 new cases, which involved 865 successive contacts involving a total of 2,084 seafarers.
The helpline has seen a slight decrease in contacts regarding health and medical problems since Covid-19 related-restrictions lifted – 4.1% in 2022, compared with 5.6% in 2021. Psychological issues accounted for 0.16% of calls in 2022, compared with 1.7% in 2021. Repatriation issues, a big problem during the crew change crisis, also improved accounting for 3.8% of cases in 2022, compared with 5.6% in 2021.
Although the helpline is for existing Nautilus members, 2022 also saw a marked increase in membership enquiries from non-member seafarers asking how to join the Union – 8.3% compared with 6.9% in 2021.