Merchant Seamen Compensation Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. M-6)
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Act current to 2023-05-17 and last amended on 2015-02-26. Previous Versions
Scale of Compensation (continued)
33 [Repealed, 2000, c. 12, s. 190]
34 [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 83]
Marginal note:Orders of Governor in Council
35 The Governor in Council may, by order, increase all or any of
(a) the amounts specified in paragraphs 31(1)(a), (b), (d), (e) and (f), in subsections 31(3) and (9) and in section 40,
(b) the percentages specified in subsection 31(9), in section 36 and in subsections 37(2) and (4), and
(c) the maximum rate of earnings specified in subsection 41(1),
but no order shall increase an amount, percentage or maximum rate of earnings to an amount, percentage or maximum rate of earnings that exceeds the highest equivalent amount, percentage or maximum rate of earnings specified, at the time the order is made, in the enactments of the Legislature of the Province of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador relating to compensation of workers and their dependants for accidents occurring to workers during the course of their employment.
- R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 35
- 2015, c. 3, s. 133
Marginal note:Permanent total disability
36 Where permanent total disability of a seaman results from an injury, the amount of the compensation shall be a weekly payment during the life of the seaman equal to seventy-five per cent of his average weekly earnings during the previous twelve months if he has been so long employed, but if not, then for the period during which he has been in the employment of his employer.
- R.S., c. M-11, s. 33
Marginal note:Permanent partial disability
37 (1) Where permanent partial disability of a seaman results from an injury, the impairment of earning capacity of the seaman shall be estimated from the nature and degree of the injury, and the compensation shall be a weekly payment during the lifetime of the seaman in the same proportion to the weekly payment payable under section 36 as the impairment of earning capacity is to total earning capacity.
Marginal note:Difference in earnings before and after accident
(2) If the Minister considers it more equitable to do so, he or she may award compensation for permanent partial disability, having regard to the difference between the seaman’s average weekly earnings before the accident and the average amount that they are earning or are able to earn in a suitable employment or business after the accident, and the compensation may be a weekly payment of 75% of the difference, and regard shall be had to the seaman’s fitness to continue the employment in the course of which they were injured or to adapt themselves to some other suitable occupation.
Marginal note:Rating schedule
(3) The Minister may compile a rating schedule of percentages of impairment of earning capacity for specified injuries or mutilations that may be used as a guide in determining the compensation payable in permanent partial disability cases.
Marginal note:Fixed amount
(4) Despite subsections (1) and (2), if the impairment of the seaman’s earning capacity does not exceed 10% of their earning capacity, instead of a weekly payment payable under those subsections, the Minister may, unless he or she is of the opinion that it would not be to the seaman’s advantage to do so, fix an amount to be paid to the seaman as full compensation and pay the seaman the amount either in one sum or in periodic payments as the Minister may direct.
- R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 37
- 2012, c. 31, s. 250
Marginal note:Temporary total disability
38 Where temporary total disability of a seaman results from an injury, the compensation shall be the same as that prescribed by section 36, but is payable only so long as the disability lasts.
- R.S., c. M-11, s. 35
Marginal note:Temporary partial disability
39 Where temporary partial disability of a seaman results from an injury, the compensation shall be the same as that prescribed by section 37, but is payable only so long as the disability lasts and subsection 37(4) applies.
- R.S., c. M-11, s. 36
Marginal note:Minimum compensation
40 The amount of compensation to which an injured seaman is entitled for temporary total or permanent total disability under this Act shall not be less than one hundred and twenty-four dollars per week or, where his average earnings are less than one hundred and twenty-four dollars per week, the amount of those earnings, and for temporary partial or permanent partial disability a corresponding amount in proportion to the impairment of earning capacity.
- R.S., c. M-11, s. 37
- R.S., c. 19(2nd Supp.), s. 5
Marginal note:Computation of average earnings
41 (1) Average earnings shall be computed in such a manner as is best calculated to give the rate per week or month at which a seaman was remunerated but not so as in any case to exceed the rate of twenty-seven thousand two hundred and fifty dollars per annum.
Marginal note:In case of shortness of employment
(2) Where, owing to the shortness of the time during which a seaman was in the employment of his employer or the casual nature of his employment or the terms thereof, it is impracticable to compute the rate of remuneration as of the date of an accident, regard may be had to the average weekly or monthly amount that, during the twelve months previous to the accident, was being earned by a person in the same grade employed at the same work by the same employer, or if there is no person so employed, then by a person in the same grade employed in the same class of employment on a ship of the same class.
Definition of employment by the same employer
(3) For the purpose of this section, the expression employment by the same employer means employment by the same employer in the grade in which the seaman was employed at the time of the accident, uninterrupted by absence from work due to illness or any other unavoidable cause.
Marginal note:Special expenses not counted
(4) Where an employer was accustomed to pay a seaman a sum to cover any special expense entailed on him by the nature of his employment, that sum shall not be reckoned as part of his earnings.
Marginal note:Earnings at time of accident considered
(5) If in any case it seems more equitable to do so, the Minister may award compensation, having regard to a seaman’s earnings at the time of an accident.
- R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 41
- 2012, c. 31, s. 251
Marginal note:Payments, etc., during disability considered
42 (1) In fixing the amount of a weekly or monthly payment, regard shall be had to any payment, allowance or benefit that a seaman may receive from his employer during the period of his disability, including any pension, gratuity or other allowance provided wholly at the expense of the employer.
Marginal note:No compensation if wages paid
(2) No compensation is payable in respect of the period during which an employer is, under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, or otherwise, liable for the payment of wages and to defray the expenses of maintenance of an injured seaman.
Marginal note:Compensation paid in full
(3) Any sum payable by way of compensation by the owner of a ship under this Act shall be paid in full notwithstanding anything in Part 3 of the Marine Liability Act.
- R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 42
- 2001, c. 6, s. 116, c. 26, s. 309
Marginal note:Semi-monthly or monthly payments
43 (1) Whenever the Minister considers it advisable, the payment of compensation may be made semi-monthly or monthly instead of weekly.
Marginal note:Residence outside Canada
(2) Subject to section 23, if a seaman or a dependant is not a resident of Canada or ceases to reside in Canada, the periods of payments may be otherwise fixed or the compensation commuted as the Minister considers appropriate.
- R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 43
- 2012, c. 31, s. 252
Marginal note:Cases where compensation may be diverted
44 (1) If a seaman is entitled to compensation and it is made to appear to the Minister that the seaman’s spouse, former spouse, common-law partner, former common-law partner or children under 18 years of age are without adequate means of support, the Minister may divert the compensation in whole or in part from the seaman for their benefit.
Marginal note:Diversion of compensation from survivor
(2) If a seaman’s survivor is entitled to compensation under section 31 and it is made to appear to the Minister that the seaman’s spouse, former spouse, former common-law partner or children under 18 years of age are without adequate means of support, the Minister may divert the compensation in whole or in part from the survivor for their benefit.
Marginal note:Meaning of “common-law partner”
(3) In this section, common-law partner means a person who is cohabiting with a seaman in a conjugal relationship, having so cohabited for a period of at least one year, or who had been so cohabiting for a period of at least one year at the time of the seaman’s death.
- R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 44
- R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 84, c. 3 (2nd Supp.), s. 30(F)
- 2000, c. 12, s. 191
- 2012, c. 31, s. 253
Marginal note:If seaman or dependant is a minor
45 If a seaman or a dependant is a minor or under any other legal incapacity, the compensation to which they are entitled may be paid to any person or be applied in any manner that the Minister considers is to the seaman’s or the dependant’s best advantage.
- R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 45
- 2012, c. 31, s. 254
Marginal note:Seaman entitled to medical aid, etc.
46 (1) Every seaman entitled to compensation under this Act is entitled to such medical, surgical and dental aid, and hospital and skilled nursing services as may be necessary as a result of the injury, and is entitled to such artificial member or members and apparatus and dental appliances and apparatus as may be necessary as a result of the injury and to have the same kept in repair or replaced when deemed necessary.
Marginal note:Responsibility of employer
(2) The medical aid to which a seaman is entitled under subsection (1) shall be furnished and paid for by the employer of that seaman.
Marginal note:Question of necessity
(3) Any question as to the necessity, character and sufficiency of any medical aid furnished or to be furnished may be referred to the Minister for a decision.
Marginal note:Fees or charges
(4) The fees or charges for the medical aid under subsection (1) shall not be more than would be properly and reasonably charged to a seaman if that seaman were paying the bill, but shall not, in any case where the seaman is furnished with medical aid in Canada, exceed the fees or charges that would be paid in similar circumstances by the workers’ compensation board of the province in which the medical aid was furnished.
Marginal note:Transportation to hospital
(5) Every employer shall at his own expense furnish any seaman injured in his employment, who is in need of it, with immediate conveyance and transportation to a hospital, a physician or the seaman’s home within a reasonable limit.
- R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 46
- 2012, c. 31, s. 255
Marginal note:Medical aid under one Act only
47 Notwithstanding anything in this Act, a seaman entitled to medical aid under Part 3 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, or under any other Act that provides similar benefits, is not entitled to medical aid under this Act during the period and to the extent that medical aid is furnished under that Part or that other Act.
- R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 47
- 2001, c. 26, s. 310
Marginal note:Reports by physician, etc.
48 Every physician, surgeon or hospital official attending, consulted respecting or having the care of any seaman shall furnish the employer from time to time with any reports that are required by the employer in respect of that seaman, and may charge for the preparation of those reports any reasonable fees that are agreed on with the employer or, in the absence of an agreement, that the Minister approves.
- R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 48
- 2012, c. 31, s. 256
Rules and Orders
Marginal note:Minister may make rules and orders
49 The Minister may make any rules and orders that he or she considers expedient or necessary for regulating his or her procedure and for carrying any of the purposes or provisions of this Act into effect.
- R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 49
- 2012, c. 31, s. 256
Delegation and Costs of Administration
50 The Minister may delegate to any person the exercise of any power or the performance of any duty that may be exercised or performed by the Minister under this Act, except for the powers referred to in section 49.
- R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 50
- 2012, c. 31, s. 256
Marginal note:Costs chargeable against employers
51 All costs incurred relative to the administration of this Act, including salaries, expenses, fees and commissions, are chargeable against the various employers, apportioned on a basis to be determined by the Minister.
- R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 51
- 2012, c. 31, s. 256
- Date modified: