Oil companies face holiday increase for offshore workers

Oil companies will have to provide more holiday for offshore workers following a judgment by an employment tribunal.

The Aberdeen employment tribunal found that staff are entitled to paid holiday under the Working Time Regulations (WTR) 1998 proportionate to the time spent working offshore and that field break does not count as holiday under the legislation because of work patterns and terms of employment in the industry.

This could effectively mean that the offshore working year is reduced by another two weeks to 24. Oil &†Gas UK, the industry body, is considering appealing against the judgement because of the increase in costs this would entail.

Although the tribunal had rejected the argument that all time offshore is working time and decided that most of the required daily and weekly rest can be provided offshore when staff were not working a shift, it said some of that time would have to fall under the field break arrangement. This would mean it would not be counted as paid annual leave.