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Transocean International Resources Ltd & ors v. Russell & ors


Employment Appeal Tribunal

The appellant companies (T) appealed against a decision that the Working Time Regulations 1998 applied to the respondent employees (R). R were offshore workers, the majority of whom were employed to work on installations situated on or over the United Kingdom continental shelf, save for three workers who were employed on an oil installation situated beyond the UK continental shelf. R maintained that they had not been afforded paid annual leave. T maintained that the Regulations did not apply to the UK continental shelf. The employment tribunal held that they did apply. By the time of T's appeal, the Regulations had been amended so as to expressly cover the UK continental shelf. Consequently, the issue for determination was whether the Regulations covered the UK continental shelf prior to that 2006 amendment. R submitted that prior to the 2006 amendment and in view of reg.1(2), the Regulations extended to only Great Britain, which embraced the GB land mass, the GB inland waters and potentially the whole or part of the UK territorial waters but no further.

HELD: (1) The purpose and function of reg.1(2) was to state only the extent of the Regulations leaving their application to be found elsewhere. There was a clear indication from the inclusion of reg.18 in the original Regulations that there was never any intention that reg.1(2) was to be regarded as a statement of both their extent and application. The Regulations, since August 2003, referred to offshore work, which clearly took their application beyond a restriction to the land mass. Furthermore, the 2006 amendment to reg.2 made it clear that their application went beyond GB and its territorial waters and into and over the UK continental shelf. It was also clear from a consideration of the Directives relating to working time that the intention of the draftsman was that work on all offshore installations situated in areas where Member States had jurisdiction should be covered. There was no evidence of an intention to restrict the application of Directive 2000/34 in view of evidence of European Union knowledge as to the positioning of offshore installations on and over the continental shelf. (2) The Regulations did not extend beyond the territorial waters of the UK and the UK continental shelf. Consequently, the workers employed on the oil installation situated beyond the UK continental shelf could not rely on the Regulations.
Appeal allowed in part.

LTL 4/1/2007

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