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Merchant Seamen Compensation Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. M-6)

Act current to 2022-07-25 and last amended on 2015-02-26. Previous Versions

Compensation (continued)

Marginal note:Minister’s discretion

 Despite section 22, compensation or a sum in lieu of compensation may be awarded to any seaman who is not a resident of Canada or to any non-resident dependant, as the Minister considers appropriate, but the compensation or sum shall not in any case exceed the amount of compensation provided for under this Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 23
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 241

Marginal note:Where entitled to action against other person

  •  (1) Where an accident happens to a seaman arising out of and in the course of his employment under such circumstances as entitled him or his dependants to an action against a person other than his co-employees, his employer, the servants or mandataries of his employer, the seaman or his dependants if entitled to compensation under this Act may claim compensation or may bring an action.

  • Marginal note:Where smaller amount collected

    (2) Where an action is brought and less is recovered and collected than the amount of the compensation to which a seaman or his dependants are entitled under this Act, the difference between the amount recovered and collected and the amount of the compensation shall be payable as compensation to the seaman or his dependants.

  • Marginal note:Employer subrogated

    (3) Where a seaman or his dependants elect to claim compensation under this Act, the employer is subrogated to the rights of the seaman or his dependants and may maintain an action in his or their names or in the name of the employer against the person against whom the action lies.

  • Marginal note:Notice of election

    (4) Notice of the election referred to in subsection (3) shall be given to the employer within three months after the happening of an accident or, if an accident results in death, within three months after the death or within any longer period that, either before or after the expiry of the three months, the Minister may allow.

  • Marginal note:No right of action

    (5) No seaman entitled to compensation under this Act or the dependants of the seaman have a right of action against an employer who is subject to this Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 24
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 242

Marginal note:When compensation not payable

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (4), compensation shall not be payable unless

    • (a) notice of the accident is given as soon as practicable after it happens and before the seaman has voluntarily left the employment in which he was injured; and

    • (b) the claim for compensation is made within six months after the accident happens or, in case of death, within six months from the time of death.

  • Marginal note:Contents of notice

    (2) The notice referred to in paragraph (1)(a) shall give the name and address of the seaman and is sufficient if it states in ordinary language the cause of the injury and where the accident happened.

  • Marginal note:Service of notice

    (3) The notice referred to in paragraph (1)(a) may be served by delivering it at, or sending it by registered mail addressed to, the place of business or the residence of the employer, or where the employer is a body of persons, corporate or unincorporate, by delivering it, or sending it by registered mail, addressed to the employer, at the office of, or if there are more offices than one, at any of the offices of, that body of persons.

  • Marginal note:Failure to give notice

    (4) Failure to give the prescribed notice or to make the claim referred to in subsection (1), or any defect or inaccuracy in a notice, does not bar the right to compensation if the Minister considers that the employer was not prejudiced by it or it appears that the claim for compensation is a just one and ought to be allowed.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 25
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 243

Notice of Accident

Marginal note:Employer to give notice

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), every employer shall, within 30 days after the happening of an accident to a seaman in its employment by which the seaman is disabled from performing their duties or that necessitates medical aid, notify the Minister in writing of

    • (a) the happening of the accident and its nature,

    • (b) the time of the accident,

    • (c) the name and address of the seaman,

    • (d) the place of the accident, and

    • (e) the medical aid received by the seaman following the accident,

    The employer shall also produce any further information respecting any other accident or claim to compensation that the Minister may require.

  • Marginal note:Minister may relieve employer

    (2) The Minister may, by order, relieve any employer from the obligation to comply with subsection (1) to the extent provided for in the order.

  • Marginal note:Failure to comply

    (3) Every person who fails to comply with subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.

  • Marginal note:Due diligence

    (4) A person is not to be found guilty of an offence under subsection (3) if they establish that they exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.

  • Marginal note:Minister’s consent

    (5) No proceedings shall be taken under this section against any person without the Minister’s consent.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 26
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 244

Medical Examination

Marginal note:Medical examination

  •  (1) A seaman who claims compensation, or to whom compensation is payable under this Act, shall, if required to do so by their employer, submit themselves for examination by a duly qualified medical practitioner who is selected and paid for by the employer and shall, if required to do so by the Minister, submit themselves for examination by a medical referee.

  • Marginal note:In accordance with Act

    (2) A seaman is not required at the request of his employer to submit himself for examination otherwise than in accordance with this Act.

  • Marginal note:Costs paid by employer

    (3) The cost of any examination made pursuant to subsection (1) and the cost of any reference under section 28 shall be paid by the employer.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 27
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 245

Marginal note:Minister may refer matter to medical referee

  •  (1) If a seaman has, on their employer’s request, submitted themselves for examination, or has been examined by a duly qualified medical practitioner selected by themselves, and a copy of the medical practitioner’s report on the seaman’s condition has been furnished in the former case by the employer to the seaman and in the latter case by the seaman to the employer, the Minister may, on the application of either of them or of his or her own motion, refer the matter to a medical referee.

  • Marginal note:Certificate of medical referee

    (2) The medical referee to whom a reference is made under subsection (1) or who has examined the seaman by the Minister’s direction under subsection 27(1) shall certify to the Minister as to the condition of the seaman and their fitness for employment, specifying, if necessary, the kind of employment and, if unfit, the cause and degree of the unfitness, and the referee’s certificate, unless the Minister otherwise directs, is conclusive as to the matters certified.

  • Marginal note:Right suspended in case refusal of examination

    (3) When a seaman does not submit himself for examination when required to do so under subsection 27(1) or on being required to do so does not submit himself for examination to a medical referee under that subsection or under subsection (1) of this section, or in any way obstructs any examination, his right to compensation, or if he is in receipt of a weekly or other periodical payment, his right to it, is suspended until the examination has taken place.

  • Marginal note:Diminution or suspension of compensation

    (4) The Minister may diminish the compensation to which a seaman is entitled, or suspend payment of it, whenever the seaman persists in dangerous or unsanitary practices imperilling or retarding their cure and whenever they refuse to submit to any medical treatment that the Minister, on the medical referee’s advice, considers necessary for their cure.

  • Marginal note:Reasonable refusal

    (5) Subsection (4) does not apply in the event of the seaman reasonably refusing to submit to surgical aid.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 28
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 246

Review of Compensation

Marginal note:Payments may be reviewed

 Any weekly or other periodic payment to a seaman may be reviewed at the employer’s or seaman’s request, and on such review the Minister may put an end to or diminish the payment or increase the payment to a sum not beyond the maximum prescribed in this Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 29
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 247

Insurance

Marginal note:Employer to be insured

  •  (1) Every employer shall cover by insurance or other means satisfactory to the Minister the risks of compensation arising under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Failure to comply

    (2) Every person who fails to comply with subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.

  • Marginal note:Due diligence

    (3) A person is not to be found guilty of an offence under subsection (2) if they establish that they exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.

  • Marginal note:Minister’s consent

    (4) No proceedings shall be taken under this section against any person without the Minister’s consent.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 30
  • R.S., 1985, c. 1 (2nd Supp.), s. 213
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 247

Scale of Compensation

Marginal note:Amounts of compensation

  •  (1) Where the death of a seaman results from an injury, the following amounts of compensation shall be paid:

    • (a) the necessary expenses of burial of the seaman not exceeding seven hundred and forty-two dollars;

    • (b) in addition to the sum mentioned in paragraph (a), a sum not exceeding one hundred and twenty-five dollars for necessary expenses for transportation and things supplied and services rendered in connection therewith necessitated by the transfer of the body of a seaman from the place of death to the place of interment;

    • (c) if the expenses of burial of a seaman are paid by an employer under section 93 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 following any accident in respect of which compensation is payable under this Act, the amount of the expenses shall be deducted from the amount payable under paragraphs (a) and (b);

    • (d) where the survivor is the sole dependant, a monthly payment of $1,451.92;

    • (e) where the dependants are a survivor and one or more children, a monthly payment of $1,451.92 with an additional monthly payment of $161.18 to be increased on the death of the survivor to $164.93

      • (i) for each child under the age of eighteen years, and

      • (ii) with the Minister’s approval, for each child under the age of 21 years who is attending school;

    • (f) where the dependants are children only, a monthly payment of one hundred and fifteen dollars

      • (i) to each child under the age of eighteen years, and

      • (ii) with the Minister’s approval, to each child under the age of 21 years who is attending school; and

    • (g) if the dependants are persons other than those mentioned in paragraphs (d) to (f), a reasonable sum that is proportionate to the pecuniary loss to those dependants occasioned by the death, to be determined by the Minister.

  • Marginal note:If no survivor

    (2) If a seaman leaves no survivor or the survivor subsequently dies, and a competent authority has appointed a person to care for the children who are entitled to compensation, the Minister may pay that person the same monthly payments of compensation as if that person were the survivor of the deceased, and in that case the children’s part of the payments shall be in lieu of the monthly payments that they would otherwise have been entitled to receive.

  • Marginal note:Additional sum

    (3) In addition to any other compensation provided for under this section, the survivor or, where the seaman leaves no survivor, the foster-parent, as described in subsection (2), is entitled to a lump sum of $16,868.50.

  • Marginal note:Duration of payments

    (4) In the case provided for by paragraph (1)(g), the payments shall continue only so long as, in the Minister’s opinion, it might reasonably have been expected that the seaman, had they lived, would have continued to contribute to the support of the dependants, and, in any case under that paragraph, compensation may be made wholly or partly in a lump sum or by any form of payment that the Minister considers most suitable in the circumstances.

  • Marginal note:Dependant to whom seaman stood in place of parent

    (5) A dependant to whom the seaman stood in the place of a parent or a dependant who stood in the place of a parent to the seaman is entitled, as the Minister may determine, to share in or receive compensation under paragraph (1)(e), (f) or (g).

  • Marginal note:Disabled child

    (6) Compensation is payable to a disabled child without regard to their age, and payments to the child shall continue until, in the Minister’s opinion, the child ceases to be disabled.

  • Marginal note:Total and partial dependants

    (7) Where there are both total and partial dependants, the compensation may be allotted partly to the total and partly to the partial dependants.

  • Marginal note:Payments to other persons

    (8) If the Minister is of the opinion that it is desirable that a payment in respect of a child should not be made directly to their parent, the Minister may direct that the payment be made to any person or be applied in any manner that he or she considers most advantageous for the child.

  • Marginal note:Maximum compensation

    (9) Exclusive of the expenses of burial of the seaman and the lump sum of eight hundred and thirty-three dollars referred to in subsection (3), the compensation payable as provided by subsection (1) shall not in any case exceed seventy-five per cent of the average earnings of the seaman mentioned in section 36, and if the compensation payable under subsection (1) would in any case exceed that percentage, it shall be reduced accordingly, and where several persons are entitled to monthly payments the payments shall be reduced proportionately, but the minimum compensation shall be

    • (a) where the survivor is the sole dependant, a monthly payment of $1,451.92, or if the seaman’s average earnings are less than $1,451.92 per month, the amount of those earnings; and

    • (b) where the dependants are a survivor and one or more children, a monthly payment of $1,613.10 for the survivor and one child irrespective of the amount of the seaman’s earnings, with a further monthly payment of $161.18 for each additional child unless the total monthly compensation exceeds the seaman’s average earnings, in which case the compensation shall be a sum equal to those earnings or $1,613.10, whichever is the greater, the share for each child entitled to compensation being reduced proportionately.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 31
  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 81
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 188
  • 2001, c. 26, s. 308
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 248

Marginal note:Payment of additional compensation

  •  (1) In addition to the amounts of compensation payable under section 31 to dependants of a seaman as a result of his death from an accident, there shall be paid,

    • (a) where the survivor of the seaman is the sole dependant, a monthly payment equal to the amount remaining, if any, after subtracting from $100 the amount of any monthly payment payable to that person pursuant to section 31;

    • (b) where the dependants are a survivor and one or more children,

      • (i) a monthly payment equal to the amount remaining, if any, after subtracting from $100 the amount of any monthly payment payable to that survivor pursuant to section 31, and

      • (ii) an additional monthly payment for each child equal to the amount remaining, if any, after subtracting from $35 the amount of any monthly payment payable pursuant to section 31 for that child, that payment to be increased on the death of the survivor to an amount equal to the amount remaining, if any, after subtracting from $45 the amount of any monthly payment payable pursuant to section 31 to that child; and

    • (c) where the dependants are children only, a monthly payment to each child equal to the amount remaining, if any, after subtracting from forty-five dollars the amount of any monthly payment payable pursuant to section 31 to that child.

  • Marginal note:Dependent minors attending school

    (2) In addition to the amounts of compensation payable under section 31 to or for a seaman’s dependent children as a result of the seaman’s death from an accident incurred before May 1, 1965, there shall be paid, with the Minister’s approval, to or for each dependent child under the age of 21 years who is attending school, the compensation that would have been payable had the accident from which the death of the seaman resulted occurred on or after May 1, 1965.

  • Marginal note:Payment made out of C.R.F.

    (3) The amounts payable pursuant to this section shall be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund and shall be paid subject to the same terms and conditions as apply to the compensation payable pursuant to the other provisions of this Act.

  • Marginal note:“Section 31”

    (4) In this section, the expression “section 31” means that section as it read at the date of the accident to the seaman in respect of whose resulting death compensation is payable.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 32
  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 82
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 189
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 249
 
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