An Aberdeen employment tribunal has ruled that offshore staff are entitled to paid holidays under the Working Time Directive.
The tribunal, considering several cases, ruled that workers are entitled to the holidays on a pro rata basis. Where an employee would normally be entitled to four weeks’ holiday, offshore staff who work two weeks offshore and then two weeks onshore would be entitled to 14 days.
The workers had demanded four weeks’ holiday, but the tribunal said that paid leave should be taken when staff are offshore rather than when they are onshore.
Amendments to the working time regulations came into effect in October 2006, confirming that holiday entitlement was applicable to all UK offshore areas.
However, Amicus, a predecessor union of Unite, brought the case against offshore employers because it believed they were failing to apply a change in the law properly.
Unite regional officer Graham Tran said: “Paid holiday for offshore workers is no longer a gift from employers, but a legal right. This judgment is a victory for 25,000 workers undertaking tough work under difficult conditions.
“Our members have had to wait almost five years for this judgment, and the tribunal has given them its full support.”