NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Offshore working time directive leave row set for court

Arguments in a long-running dispute over holiday entitlements for offshore workers are due to be heard at the Supreme Court in London.

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 time they spend at home forms part of their legally-entitled four weeks holiday.

Unions argue that under the working time directive that is not the case.

The legal battle has been going on for eight years and the case could ultimately be referred to the European courts.

'Long haul'

Jake Molloy, from the RMT union, said: "It's a war of attrition, there's no doubt about it, and I think industry thought that they would have won that war by now.

"But we're in for the long haul - if it means Europe then we'll be in Europe."

Industry body Oil and Gas UK's chief executive, Malcolm Webb, said: "The two week on, two week off rota worked in the UK offshore oil and gas industry more than meets the requirement of the working time directive to provide 5.6 weeks' annual leave.

"Indeed, typical working patterns allow offshore workers to spend over 26 weeks a year away from work onshore."

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