A claim that offshore workers are entitled to extra paid leave has been rejected by the Supreme Court. Unions have been fighting for many years for paid leave for workers who spend two weeks on platforms before having a two-week rest.
The industry has maintained that time they spend at home forms part of their legally-entitled four weeks’ holiday. Unions argued that was not the case under the working time directive. They may now consider industrial action.
Malcolm Webb, chief executive of industry body Oil and Gas UK, said: “Oil and Gas UK is very pleased that the highest UK Court, the Supreme Court, has upheld the previous rulings of the Court of Session and Employment Appeal Tribunal.
“Time off work enjoyed by UK offshore oil and gas workers more than meets the minimum legal amount of annual leave that employers must provide their employees.
“Typical rotas worked offshore allow for over 26 weeks onshore, away from work, more than meeting the requirement of the Working Time Directive to provide 5.6 weeks’ annual leave.”
Jake Molloy, of the RMT union, described the decision as a “real slap in the face” and said members would decide what action, if any, they would take next.
He told BBC Scotland: “The legal fight has finished. We can now look at a different type of fight.
“That will be for the members to decide. If that is strike, then so be it.”
Source: BBC, December 8, 2011