If you’re in the yachting industry, you’ll know that non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are commonplace to protect the privacy and confidentiality of yacht owners and guests. Superyacht crew members are often required to sign NDAs as a condition of their employment on a boat. This typically prohibits crew from disclosing confidential information about the yacht, its owners, and guests, including details about the yacht’s operations, locations, and onboard activities.
However, over the past few years, it’s come to light that NDAs can have a significant impact on superyacht crew career opportunities. You may be thinking “how?”, read on to understand.
While NDAs are intended to protect the yacht owner’s privacy and confidentiality, they can also limit a yachties ability to discuss their work experiences and accomplishments with potential future employers. For example, if a crew member signs an NDA that prohibits them from discussing their work history on a particular yacht, they may not be able to include that experience on their resume or discuss it during a job interview. Therefore they have no proof of an excellent work history.
Networking and build relationships
Many crew have also commented on the fact that to some extent, NDAs can limit the ability to network and build relationships within the yachting industry. Some may argue against this, but imagine that you are a less experienced crew member and you meet someone at a social event who you; 1. get along with and 2. is interested in hiring you for a future job. They then ask you about your work, experience and so forth which legally, you’re not able to discuss due to an NDA. Although this is the nature of the industry and most will understand, there will always be the odd one that won’t.
Workplace issues and safety concerns
Before moving onto advice surrounding Superyacht Crew NDAs, we have one more issue to touch on – workplace issues and safety concerns. One of the main concerns is that NDAs can prevent crew members from reporting workplace issues or safety concerns. If a crew member witnesses or experiences something that they believe is unsafe or unethical, they may be hesitant to report it if they are bound by an NDA. Ultimately creating a dangerous situation where safety issues are not addressed or resolved, and crew members may feel that they are unable to speak up about concerns that could impact their safety or the safety of others onboard.
We got in touch with Molly England, former crew member and current director of Seven Seas Recruitment to discuss what crew should consider before signing an NDA:
‘”NDAs are legal contracts that prohibit employees (crew) from disclosing confidential information about their employer(s). In the superyacht industry, where privacy is of utmost importance to some Owners and their programs, NDAs are particularly important.
As a recruitment company, we believe that all superyacht crew should consider the following points before signing an NDA;
– Understand your NDA’s scope. Before signing an NDA, it’s essential to understand what information is covered by the agreement and the consequences of violating it. Carefully read through the agreement and ask questions if anything is unclear.
– Weigh up the potential consequences of violating your NDA. NDAs typically come with severe consequences for violating the agreement, including termination of employment and legal action against you, so it’s important to weigh these potential consequences against the benefits of the job.
– Consider the impact on your personal life. NDAs may limit your ability to share certain information with your friends and family, which can impact your personal life and relationships. Consider whether the restrictions are reasonable and whether you’re comfortable with them.
– Our last and most important point is to seek legal advice if ever you have any doubts or concerns about your NDA or its potential impact on your career. A lawyer can review the agreement and provide guidence on whether it’s in your best interest to sign.”
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