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Offshore employers successful in long awaited UK Working Time Regulations case

07 December 2011

Paull & Williamsons can announce that the long awaited outcome for the offshore industry concerning the Working Time Regulations (WTR) came to a conclusion on December 7th 2011. The decision was issued at 9.45am with the leading judgement being given by Lord Hope.

Sean Saluja, Partner of the Employment Law Division
Sean Saluja, Partner of the Employment Law Division

The release of the judgement from the Supreme Court in the case of Russell and others v Transocean and others has resulted in a complete success for the employers. As part of a legal team, Paull & Williamsons has been representing the Respondent employers from the outset.

The Supreme Court held that workers in the offshore sector could be directed to take their annual leave from time that was already scheduled time off within their rota (i.e workers can be directed to take annual leave during their scheduled field break) and that paid annual leave under WTR does not require as a matter of law to come from time when a worker would otherwise be working.

Sean Saluja, partner of the Employment Law Division, said:  “The decision today was a complete success for the employers, who we represented as part of a team, and we are delighted with the outcome.  This has been a long awaited decision and with the Supreme Court also ruling that the matter should not be referred to Europe, it has finally come to a conclusion.  As a matter of law, employers in the offshore sector can now insist that annual leave is taken during normal field break/rotational work patters - a decision that will be welcomed by many in the industry.

“We have been working on behalf of a number of employers for a long period of time having commenced this journey in 2007 and we are delighted to have this successful outcome.”

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