A trade union has welcomed a new agreement protecting offshore workers amid the coronavirus crisis.
Unite has spent the last week working with a number of bodies, including the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA), to agree new measures.
The Supplementary Project Agreement (SPA) will be added to the Offshore Contractors Partnership Agreement (OCPA).
It means workers who are at risk of being laid off or made redundant will be able to benefit from the UK Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme.
Workers with underlying health conditions who have been told to take extra precautions will also be protected by the arrangement.
The new agreement comes after Unite launched its “Keep the North Sea safe – cuts cost lives” campaign in response the OCA announcing its intention to scrap a collective agreement over the terms and conditions of thousands of workers.
The union estimates around 30,000 workers would be affected.
Unite’s regional industrial officer John Boland said: “The new agreement will bring relief to many of our members who were facing a very uncertain future, and will secure a workforce ready for when we overcome this pandemic.
“Unite offshore members are used to overcoming difficulties, and with the support of their union they will overcome this period, and be stronger for it.
“Working together, the unions and the OCA have shown the value of an offshore collective agreement, and that is why the offshore contractors agreement must remain in place.”