Official blog of Swansea University's IISTL, where we keep you up to date with the latest maritime and commercial legal news.
COVID-19: An Occupational Disease?
On April 28, 2020, the global trade union movement urged governments and occupational health and safety bodies around the world to recognise SARS-CoV-2 as an occupational hazard, and COVID-19 as an occupational disease.
In practice, this means that the employer’s duty to take reasonable measures to protect the health and safety of their employees will cover COVID-19 related risks. Furthermore, it means that employees will be able to benefit from compensation schemes provided for those injured, or the dependants of the deceased, whenever there has been injury or death due to work-related accidents or occupational diseases.
Recognising COVID-19 as an occupational disease will be crucial to ‘key workers’, such as seafarers. For that it will ensure that adequate preventive measures are adopted and, if they contract COVID-19 at work, that existing compensation and liability regimes remain applicable.
I am a lecturer in shipping and trade law at the Institute of International Shipping and Trade Law at Swansea University where I teach Admiralty law, Charterparties: law and practice, Carriage of goods by sea, land and air, and Tort law. I am a graduate of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and hold an LLM degree in Maritime Law from the University of Southampton. I also completed my PhD degree in maritime law with emphasis on seafarers’ rights at the University of Southampton in 2019.
Before joining the Institute, I worked as a lecturer in law at Queen Mary, University of London where I taught tort law. I was also a tutor in law at the University of Southampton. I am a qualified lawyer in Greece and prior to her PhD studies I worked as a lawyer at the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights of Greece.
My primary research focuses on international maritime labour law and seafarers’ rights, international maritime law, public international law, including international law of the sea, and tort law. I have recently published a book chapter in Baris Soyer and Andrew Tettenborn (Ed), Disruptive Technologies, Climate Change and Shipping (Informa Law from Routledge) on the human element in autonomous shipping.
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I am also a member of the Society of Legal Scholars and the Women in Shipping and Trading Association.
View all posts by Dr Zoumpoulia Amaxilati