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Oil and Gas: Facing up to a downturn in the sector

Our employment team provides continuing support to an international drilling contractor, advising the company on how to manage its HR needs for its UK workforce and, more recently, advising on changes caused by market forces.

The recent downturn in the oil and gas sector, with revenues falling by 20% in 2014 and a further 30% in 2015, has resulted in a loss of 65,000 jobs in Britain's offshore oil market alone.

Falling oil prices and older market challenges, such as increasing costs and declining production, mean that we are increasingly providing support to effectively manage the impact of these issues on our clients.

For example:

  • We recently advised a drilling contractor client on parallel collective consultations, large-scale redundancies and contract changes, including changes to offshore rotas and salary structure. 
  • We also gave advice on a potential dispute with the recognised trade union arising out of the industry-level collective agreement. We helped our client achieve a thorough understanding of the possible consequences that might arise from exiting the agreement, so that they would be prepared for a number of outcomes. 
  • With fierce competition an unavoidable result of the industry downturn, we provided support on the TUPE implications of a loss of a major contract to a competitor. We also advised on the redeployment of offshore staff from the North Sea to Asia.

Read more about our Employment services.

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