‘Unfair’ offshore job loss claims double, says CAB Aberdeen


‘Unfair’ offshore job loss claims double, says CAB Aberdeen

23 December 2016
Offshore installation

The number of people contacting Aberdeen’s Citizens Advice Bureau claiming unfair redundancy from the oil and gas industry has doubled in a year, BBC Scotland has learned.

The charity said it had been advising hundreds of former workers in the sector over the past 12 months.

Some have managed to successfully challenge their former employers, CAB Aberdeen said.

An incorrect selection process has been one area used for challenges.

‘Talking favouritism’

Zara Strange, the CAB manager in Aberdeen, told BBC Scotland: “It’s not the fact that redundancies are required, I mean we all know that, it’s just the way people are being selected.

“We have people who we will challenge on their behalf.

“Invariably we will win that case because people are being unfairly selected.

“Or people who should have been included in the pool of people have been missed out, so we’re really talking about favouritism in that aspect.”




The CAB will often advise employees to join a Trade Union and get organised in their place of work as Trade Unions are in the workplace 24 /7, if you are asking the CAB for advice at work it`s often too late for assistance.

Offshore Trade Unions 

What is a trade union? An organisation of workers in the workplace created to protect and advance the interests of its members by negotiating agreements with employers on pay and conditions of work.

Every employee who works offshore has a statutory right to join Unite or any trade union of their choice (However the Union of your choice may not be recognised gfor collective bargaining)

Offshore Union Recognition (Collective bargaining)


Offshore employers often mislead their employees with a play on words “We do not recognise Unions” this does not mean that you can`t join a trade union and in a few occasions it has  even  been conveyed to our members  where we are recognised for collective bargaining that a member of the management team have said  they do not are  recognise unions .(If in doubt contact Unite the Union Aberdeen, 42-44 King Street, Aberdeen  AB24  5TJ  Tel: 01224 645 271  e mail:  aberdeenstaff@unitetheunion.org)

  • You  have a statutory right to join a trade union
  •  You have the statutory right to have your employer recognise the Union for collective bargaining and trade union recognition (# criteria applies in UK Employment Law)

# https://www.gov.uk/trade-union-recognition-employers/overview

# http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/4/8/Trade-Union-Representation-in-the-Workplace-accessible-version.pdf


Ask Acas – Trade Union Recognition What is Acas?

Acas is an independent public body which seeks to: • prevent or resolve disputes between employers and their workforces • settle complaints about employees’ rights • provide impartial information and advice • encourage people to work together effectively.

What is the Acas role in trade union recognition? Acas can: • give impartial and confidential information and advice on trade union recognition • help resolve disputes over trade union recognition by voluntary means • help resolve disputes when a union makes a claim for statutory trade union recognition • assist with membership checks and ballots to help resolve trade union recognition issues • assist employers and trade unions to draw up recognition and procedural agreements and work together to solve problems.

What is trade union recognition?

A trade union is “recognised” by an employer when it negotiates agreements with employers on pay and other terms and conditions of employment on behalf of a group of workers, defined as the ‘bargaining unit’.

This process is known as ‘collective bargaining’. A trade union may seek recognition in an organisation by voluntary or statutory means.

Voluntary trade union recognition When a union uses voluntary means to get recognition, it will contact the employer without using any legal procedures. Acas can help if both parties agree.


Statutory trade union recognition


Where do unions apply? • An independent trade union may make an application to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) for recognition in organisations that employ at least 21 workers.

The CAC is a permanent independent body with statutory powers. • It makes legally binding decisions on applications concerning the recognition and de-recognition of trade unions for collective bargaining purposes, where employers and trade unions cannot agree voluntarily.

What requirements have to be met before the CAC can consider an application from a trade union? • The trade union must first have made a formal application to the organisation concerned.

The trade union must show, either through a ballot, or through levels of membership, that it has the support of a majority of workers in the bargaining unit. Where the CAC makes a declaration that a trade union should be recognised for collective bargaining purposes, the parties must then agree a bargaining procedure. If they cannot agree a procedure, the CAC will.

The Acas role is separate from the statutory decision making role of the CAC and is entirely confidential. What is conciliation? It is a voluntary process of discussion and negotiation by which Acas helps parties in dispute to reach their own agreement. Acas conciliators have no power to impose, or even recommend, settlements.


When a Union is recognised it can  negotiate to put in  place the following

Workplace reps/Shop Stewards 

  • Union representatives appointed/elected by  union members in accordance with union rules  in workplaces under the provisions of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 known as TULR(C)ACT 1992


  •  Paid time off to carry out their duties appointed by TU members
  •  Paid time off for training workplaces to promote and enable
  • Protection against dismissal and  detriment

The Acas Code of practice on time  off for trade union duties and activities applies

Union learning Representatives

Union learning representatives appointed/elected by  union members in accordance with union rules  in  workplaces to promote and enable  training and learning where the union is recognised for collective bargaining  These rights are in TULR(C)ACT 1992 as amended in 2002


  •  Paid time off to carry out their duties appointed by TU members
  •  Paid time off for training workplaces to promote and enable
  • Protection against dismissal and  detriment

The Acas Code of practice on time off for trade union duties and activities applies

Information and Consultation  reps

The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004


Employees have the statutory right to put in place a written request where they can demonstrate over 15% of the workers want an ICE Committee under the 2004 regs

Information and Consultation reps


  •  Paid time off to carry out their duties appointed by  employees
  •  Paid time off for ICE training
  • Protection against dismissal and  detriment


Get Protected! Get Active! Get Organised!

join unite 2

Unite is the largest trade union in for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union






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