OGUK is working with members to give weekly updates on COVID-19. Please find the latest updates below;
Exclusive Member content
The UK and Scottish Governments have announced a number of schemes to support businesses impacted by Covid-19.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
OGUK are pleased to share details for the following service providers for each of: Crisis Management, Accommodation and Transport as part of our ‘Key Worker Safe Passage Programme.
Please note that whilst OGUK is keen to share information of this nature at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to endorse or recommend particular options or services.
Potential customers must always rely on their own due diligence.
It is anticipated that all bookings will be made via the established protocol, currently in place with recognised travel providers.
Click here to find out more
COVID-19: Safe Working for UKCS Offshore Installations Guidelines
This guideline provides information on how the offshore oil and gas industry has responded to the pandemic, building on lessons learned to outline how safe working has been maintained during the pandemic, and demonstrating how it can increase activity levels safely from the minimum manning implemented by the majority of operators at the start of the epidemic in the UK.
Download Guideline here.
OGUK Safe Passage Programme Guideline
The objective of this OGUK Guideline Document is to present a single, industry-endorsed, fit-for-purpose ‘Safe Passage Programme’ for key oil and gas workers from their home location to their place of work offshore, and home again. prioritizing health & well-being. This is intended to provide guidance and awareness to the industry, whilst at the same time delivering reassurance to workers and their families.
Download Guideline here.
OGUK Guideline COVID-19 Logistics Best Practice
The objective of this OGUK Guideline Document is to present a single, industry-endorsed, fit-for-purpose ‘Logistics Best Practice’ instruction for warehouse and shore base practitioners in support of the oil and gas industry, prioritizing health & well-being, which is intended to provide guidance and awareness to the industry, whilst at the same time provide reassurance to workers and their families at this time of COVID-19.
Download Guideline here.
Movement of Freight During COVID-19 Lockdown – The UK Government enforced a country-wide lockdown from 23 March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, only essential travel is permitted. A full breakdown of essential travel can be found on the Government website at www.gov.uk/COVID-19.
For the continuation of ongoing work in the oil and gas industry, it has been recognised that movement of freight must be allowed where necessary. Police Scotland have advised that this movement/assisted movement of freight will be supported in the following circumstances:
Police Scotland are not able to support any non-critical or non-essential freight movements during the Government enforced lockdown. The template found below can be used as proof of essential movement of freight. This has been agreed with Police authorities within the UK.
Download the template here.
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]
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;
OGUK Medical Evaluations
On 18 March 2020 OGUK issued advice on an extension policy for offshore medicals to the end of June, enabled via the ‘Vantage’ POB system. This was intended to accommodate UK national requirements for extreme social isolation of the population, including a stop to all ‘non-essential’ medical activity, including offshore medicals.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues, and social isolation requirements are easing to a variable extent, although altered working arrangements are expected to continue for some time to come. OGUK has now issued advice to examining doctors explaining how to conduct ‘socially distanced’ offshore medicals. The ‘Covid-19 amendments’ to the medical guidelines mean that examining doctors may resume OGUK medicals with immediate effect, including for those workers whose medicals were extended and are now coming up for renewal.
It is understood that there may be a ‘backlog’ of medicals to be undertaken and a consequent pressure on examining doctors. A further one-month extension to medicals validity via ‘Vantage’ will be enabled accordingly.
Training and Certification Extensions:
Our member AIS has put together a useful webpage detailing extensions and expiry dates for a number of different certifications.
A Humanitarian Assistance Centre (HAC) has been set up by the Local Resilience Partnership (LRP). It covers communities in Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray councils. The centre is compiling a list of volunteers and assigning them to support work as appropriate. This could be anything from responding to calls from the public to planning to delivery driving. If you would like to register as a volunteer please click on this link www.gcah.org.uk and you can find the volunteers button on the right hand side.
The HAC would particularly welcome volunteers with Mental Health First Aid training; if you have this and wish to volunteer then please click on this link [email protected] and put Health Skills and Emotional wellbeing in the subject line. The HAC would also like to know what days and hours you would be willing to work (it will be virtual).
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.
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: