OGUK is working hard to ensure that it keeps its members and stakeholders up to date with the latest information and updates related to COVID-19.

It is a very challenging time for the UK’s oil and gas industry, and things are changing very quickly.

This page is dedicated to sharing updates as they become available.

 

 


You can find information related to the topics outlined below;


 

Member Updates

OGUK is working with members to give weekly updates on COVID-19. Please find the latest updates below;

OGUK MEMBER UPDATE – 02 APRIL 2020 OGUK MEMBER UPDATE – 26 MARCH 2020 OGUK LETTER TO MEMBERS – 24 MARCH 2020

 

OGUK MEMBER UPDATE – 20 MARCH 2020

 

Exclusive Member content

OGUK 2020 – Authorisation to Travel v1 – Login and access OGUK’s member page here.


 

Industrial Support Options

The UK and Scottish Governments have announced a number of schemes to support businesses impacted by Covid-19.

Find here detailed information on all schemes outlined below;
  • Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Support for businesses with turnover up to £45m through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) Scheme
  • Support for business with turnover of between £45m and £500m through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
  • Support for larger firms through the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)
  • Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service
  • Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • Support for businesses paying sick pay
  • Support for Self-employed
  • Other support mechanisms

Links and further information

Read here the open letter published by the leaders of Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise, which outlines their joint commitment and actions to support Scottish business through these incredibly uncertain times, as they respond to the significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK Government has published a toolkit to raise awareness of the support available to businesses – find out more here.

BEIS has established a dedicated email address for businesses looking to access support [email protected] and a helpline 0300 456 3565.

Claim for wage costs through the coronavirus job retention scheme

GOV UK Chancellor announces additional support to protect businesses

GOV UK Guidance to employers and businesses about Covid-19 – Support for business

GOV UK – News: Covid-19 Guidance for employees, employers and businesses

GOV UK – Publications: Covid-19 Guidance for employees, employers and businesses

GOV Scot 2.2 billion for business


 

General Updates for Organisations

Gender Pay Gap Reporting
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Government Equalities Office (GEO) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) took the decision on 24th March to suspend enforcement of the gender pay gap deadlines for this reporting year (2019/20).

The decision means there will be no expectation of employers to report their data

Filing Accounts
A three-month extension period for filing accounts, announced on 25 March 2020 — while companies will still have to apply for the three-month extension to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension. More than 10,000 businesses have already successfully applied for the extension.

IR35 delayed
Delays to the implementation of IR35 changes to come into effect 6 April 2021 instead.

Proposed Changes to Insolvency Funds
UK Government have announced changes to Insolvency Laws effective from 1 March 2020 with two key points:
(1) Wrongful Trading – Removes the risk of personal liability for directors if they fail to take every step to minimise potential losses to creditors once there is no reasonable prospect of avoiding an insolvent liquidation/administration. Existing legislation relating to fraudulent activities will remain in place
(2) New Restructuring Plan and Moratorium – A short pause to allow companies to explore alternative financing options
Exact timings for implementation are yet to be announced.


 

Workforce Updates

Our people are essential for providing energy and products to the UK, keeping Britain running during these unprecedented times, powering hospitals, fuelling vehicles for emergency services and key workers, and providing essential supplies.

OGUK is working on behalf of industry to secure government and regulator support which protects the safety of our people, ensures the safe production of secure and affordable energy, and mitigates the impact on jobs and businesses.

The UK Government has mandated that, wherever possible, these activities should be done remotely, but they have also recognised that where they cannot – as with offshore oil and gas production and roles at certain key onshore terminals – then they should be done in the workplace in a way that minimises the risk of infection. As part of a key industry, if you have been identified by your employer as unable to work remotely, you will be allowed to travel to your place of work and a standard format letter of permission is being developed that your employer can use. Find out more here.

OGUK has also welcomed the UK Government’s announcement that oil and gas workers will be included in a list of key workers. Please see the website with relevant information:

Guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision.

Information for our workforce

OGUK has teamed up with Step Change in Safety to launch a dedicated online hub with guidance, videos and FAQs about the industry and the impact of COVID-19. It aims to address concerns on the prevention and protection against coronavirus on the 150 manned installations across the UKCS including information films for those travelling by helicopter offshore and advice for the substantial onshore workforce. If you are a member of the workforce or have a family member working in the oil and gas sector, be sure to take a look: Step Change in Safety COVID-19

Watch here the film presented by Step Change in Safety – In this film, Graham Wildgoose, OGUK Aviation Advisor, and Matt Rhodes, Bristow Helicopters UK and member of the Step Change in Safety Leadership Team answer current questions from the workforce about offshore helicopter travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 


 

Accommodation and Transport Provisions for Key Workers

We have had many queries over the past week about accommodation provisions, namely for key workers who may live outside Aberdeen but need to stay in the city overnight before travelling offshore.  We have been working with the Local Resilience Partnership to understand what hotels will remain open, which we have listed below.  Please get in touch with the hotels or your travel providers directly with any queries.

Aberdeen

Hotel Open Telephone Address Other information
Loch Kinord Hotel 013398 85229 Ballater Road Accepting suspected cases / those needing to self-isolate
Hampton by Hilton Aberdeen Airport 01224 984584 Harvest Way
Hallmark Hotel Aberdeen Airport 01224 723101 Farburn Terrace
Jurys Inn Aberdeen Airport 01224 793200 Argyll Road
Leonardo Inn Hotel Aberdeen Airport 01224 793200 Argyll Road
Carmelite 01224 589101 Stirling Street
Northern Hotel 01224 483342 1 Great Northern Road
Aberdeen Douglas Hotel & Royal Athenaeum Suites 01224 565534 43 – 45 Market Street
The Holiday Inn Express Aberdeen Airport 01224 608300 2-3 International Gate Accepting suspected cases / those needing to self-isolate
Crowne Plaza Aberdeen Airport 01224608350 ext:5023 2-3 International Gate Accepting suspected cases / those needing to self-isolate
Courtyard by Marriott Aberdeen Airport Hotel 01224 432000 Argyll Way
Aberdeen Douglas Hotel & Royal Athenaeum Suites 01224 565534 43 – 45 Market Street

 

Hotel Closed – BUT MAY REOPEN IF NECESSARY Telephone Address
Aberdeen Altens Hotel 01224 244600 Souterhead Road
Park Inn by Radisson 07891 563957 1 Justice Mill Lane
Mercure Aberdeen Caledonian Hotel – closed 25th March – can open within 24hours if needed 01224 640233 10-14 Union Terrace

Norwich

Hotels open to key workers Telephone Address
Best Western Cedars Hotel 01449 612668 Needham Road, Stowmarket, IP14 2AJ
Best Western Brome Grange Hotel 01379 870456 Norwich Road, Brome, EYE, IP23 8AP

Blackpool

Hotels open to key workers Telephone Address
The Fairhaven Hotel 01253 628280 46 Palatine Road, Blackpool, FY1 4BX
OYO Silver Strand Hotel 020 8089 8579 Station Rd, Blackpool, FY4 1BE

Humberside

Hotels open to key workers Telephone Address
OYO Hotel Clamart 020 8089 8579 7 Shelford St, Scunthorpe, DN15 6NU
OYO Hotel Mj Kingsway 020 8089 8579 76 – 77 Kingsway, Cleethorpes, DN35 0AB

We have been working with UK Hospitality to source some of this information and will continue to work with them on this going forwards.

Transport Provisions

We have confirmation from three Aberdeen-based taxi firms who are willing to transport any workers with suspected COVID symptoms once they return from their offshore trips. They have confirmed that they will provide transport to anywhere in the UK, however, OGUK advises that individual risk assessments are conducted for any proposed journeys.

Aberdeen Taxis
Comcab
Rainbow City Taxis

OGUK continues is also looking into arrival protocols for those arriving back onshore with a suspected case of COVID.


 

Frequently Asked Questions

Working with Step Change in Safety, we’ve pulled together commonly asked questions from companies, people in our industry, trade unions and more to give you a one-stop-shop for questions about the coronavirus pandemic and what it means for your job and company.

Got another question we’ve not answered? Send these to the Incident Management Team email; [email protected]

How do I find out about support available for my business?
OGUK continues to work closely with governments and regulators to communicate industry challenges and required support. Please visit our dedicated webpage for information on the support available to your business.
I have recently travelled abroad – can I still work offshore?
There is now no official requirement to take additional measures when returning to the UK from other countries. Government monitoring, identification and communication of high-risk areas (known as Category 1 and 2) has been discontinued. Industry policy is now that personnel will not be permitted to travel offshore if: • They have experienced either a new continuous/persistent cough or a high temperature in the last seven days • They share a household with someone who has experienced those symptoms within the last 14 days from 20 March 2019 • Individual operators may risk assessing personnel in addition based upon their international travel in the past 14 days If you have a concern regarding any of the above points, you must follow government health advice and should also contact your employer.
Can I travel offshore if my medical certificate is expiring soon?
Check with your installation operator. Installation operators now have the option to accept a normal (addendum 2) certificate which has expired as being valid up to 30th June 2020. Examining doctors may also extend a restricted (addendum 3) certificate up to 30th June 2020 on the basis of a ‘remote’ (i.e. not ‘in-person’) medical assessment.
Can I work offshore if I require re-certification?
Given the constraints on re-certifying during this period, OPITO has enabled some certification extensions, enabling employers and self-sponsored individuals to apply for an extension, if their certification expires within the next 30 days. Visit Opito’s website/COVID-19 for more information, or to apply.
Will I be tested for coronavirus offshore?
As per national guidelines, tests for coronavirus will no longer be administered to suspected cases in a community setting. Any suspected cases will be quarantined offshore and evacuation arrangements made accordingly. Owing to offshore personnel designation as key workers, testing regimes may be implemented in future. OGUK continues to monitor this.
Will I be able to return onshore if I develop symptoms?
Yes. Arrival protocol is being agreed by companies, but you must follow government advice on travel once you return.
What happens if there is a medical emergency?
As usual, medical emergencies will be attended by the installation medic and the Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter services.

 


Industry Policy and Advice

OGUK is working closely with members and regulators to develop industry-wide policy and advice on a number of issues.

Please find available documents here;

 

 


 

Contact Us

If you have questions or queries related to the industry’s response to COVID-19, please contact us at [email protected]

A member of the team will pick up your query as soon as we can.

 


 

Useful links


There is wide-ranging advice on many topics available from Public Health England and Health Protection Scotland on how best to minimise transmission of the virus within the workplace. This advice is revised and new guidance produced continuously as more is learned about the virus.

 

Regularly updated guidance and resources can be found on the following web pages: