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;

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
  • £100m funds to help business
  • 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.

 


 

Crisis Management, Accommodation and Transport Options for Key Workers

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


Best Practices Guidelines

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.

 


Police-Assisted Freight Movements

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:

  • Where the goods or materials being transported are required to support safety-critical works

OR

  • Where the goods or materials being transported are required to support the production of hydrocarbons

OR

  • Where the goods or materials being transported are required to ensure the security of supply

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.

 


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;

OGUK PSG Health Subgroup – Guide to action on PCR test results

COVID-19 Medical Evaluations

OGUK COVID-19: checklist for offshore installations

COVID-19 Movement of Passagenrs Flowchart – Issue 5 (01-May-2020)

OGUK Vulnerable Person Advice

OGUK Covid-19 Principles of Cooperation

HPS Guidance for Prevention and Management of Cases of COVID-19 on Offshore Installations

OGUK Testing Overview

Training and Certification Extensions:

Our member AIS has put together a useful webpage detailing extensions and expiry dates for a number of different certifications.


 

Volunteering

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).

 


 

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: