Testing the associations between different aspects of seafarers’ employment contract and on-board internet access and their job and life satisfaction and health

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The aim of this study was to test for associations between different aspects of contract and on-board internet access and seafarers’ satisfaction and health. Altogether 298 Croatian seafarers, all officers, employed on cargo ships, with a minimum work experience of two years with their current shipping company, participated in an online survey. The questionnaire included sociodemographic items, questions relating to their employment contract and internet access, and measures of job satisfaction, life satisfaction, mental health, and gastrointestinal and cardiovascular symptoms. Their job- and lifesatisfaction levels were higher for shorter duration on board, favourable ratio of work to non-work days, and compliance with the employment contract regarding the changes to work and non-work days. Mental health differed likewise but only in relation to two aspects of the contract: on-board duration and compliance with the contract. The level of gastrointestinal symptoms was lower in cases of shorter on-board duration and compliance with the contract, and in seafarers who have free, unlimited internet access on board. Lower level of cardiovascular symptoms was found in seafarers with free, unlimited internet access on board. Our findings suggest that in promoting satisfaction and health in seafaring, attention should be given to reducing on-board duration, compliance with the contract, and internet accessibility on board.

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