Offshore Contractor Job Rights

4th May | 1 Comment

Offshore Contractor Job Rights graphic

Preparing to leave behind your home and family is intimidating enough, but not knowing what rights you have as an offshore contractor can make a difficult move even harder.

However, across the world, thousands of global offshore employees have settled into a life at sea. Finding that they can achieve incredible job satisfaction, fantastic remuneration, and industry-leading working flexibility in the following sectors:
  • Renewables
  • Marine & Heavy Lifting
  • Subsea & ROV
  • Oil & Gas
  • Diving
  • Survey & Inspection

In 2022, emerging technologies are fuelling the development of offshore wind farms and tidal power, promising a bright and long-lasting career for offshore contractors.

(Source: Offshore Magazine)

The Factors of Offshore Contractor Job Rights

Worldwide, governments heavily regulate the offshore industry to secure the safety of fleets and their crew. Before setting sail, Senior Management and Safety Leadership employees must adhere to strict guidelines and ensure they have the right qualifications on board. For offshore contractors, this means each unique need is thoroughly considered before a project launches. 

Standard contractor job rights can vary depending on a few factors:

  1. Country of Origin
  2. Location of Work
  3. Job Position
  4. Company of Employment

This makes careful research imperative before you accept a placement.

For example, some companies may provide life insurance, medical insurance, and rewarding pension schemes. Measuring each benefit can help you select one job over another. 

Another consideration to make if you are worried about your rights as an offshore contractor is to only accept work through specialist recruiters with extensive industry knowledge, like Select Offshore. We’ll be able to provide advice in different legal scenarios and will prioritise candidate wellbeing above all else. 

Offshore Contractor Job Rights 

Fairly typical offshore contract placements demand a lot from their employees, including long shifts (that can occasionally reach 12 hours) and mentally and physically demanding work.

As a result, you need to be keenly aware of your personal limits and also what employment rights you have to ensure you aren’t being exposed to dangerous working conditions.

If, at any point, your safety is under threat, make sure you know who you can report to.

1. Contract Length

Across Europe, offshore contracts can not last more than 28 days (Source: HSE Safety Law) – meaning workers often celebrate a strong work-life balance. 

Overall, depending on where a project is operating, there will be restrictions on how many days you can be at sea before travelling home. This protects your mental health and gives you time to rest and see your loved ones before returning to work. 

The majority of contractors will work on two-week shift patterns (Source: Clyde).

2. Working Hours

A full-time employee in offshore and oil and gas would typically work 38 hour weeks, plus what is deemed as “reasonable additional hours”. (Source: Award Viewer). 

Although this leaves job rights open to interpretation, you should always have a communication channel between yourself and a safety officer who can make objections on your behalf when you find yourself working regularly above and beyond your contract.

If you have been onboarded to work on an hourly basis with an overtime rate, make sure you privately track your hours and are paid accordingly.

3. Basic Needs

All basic needs should be provided when you are working in an offshore placement, such as food and water, washing facilities, and comfortable accommodation. For most positions, these will be a legal responsibility that falls into the employer’s hands.

Additionally, if you have dietary requirements, disabilities (like dyslexia), or other health conditions that could affect your ability to work, communicate with your hiring manager so they can accommodate your requirements.

4. Compensation

For all offshore contracts, compensation and hourly rates (or salaries) should be clearly outlined before you start work. Depending on the company you are working for, this may be paid in local currencies and could be subject to taxation.

5. Personal Safety

All offshore contractors have the right to feel safe at work. Thanks to heavy industry regulation, it is likely all vessels and fleets will have professional cooks, healthcare professionals, maintenance stewards, and more. These positions are all designed to keep projects safe for each employee.

The Benefits of Offshore Contracting

Working as an offshore contractor often grants you the opportunity to travel, work hard, and earn a high income no matter your nationality. 

Over time, contracting has become a popular and sought-after position across many sectors because of the amount of control an employee retains. They have the right to say no to placements that don’t suit their schedule and can thoroughly research an employer before choosing to work with them. 

Today, there are hundreds of different opportunities in offshore contracting, from seamen positions to crane operators.

Moving into Offshore Contracting

Contracting in any position can help specialist industry talent land job roles that suit them, working to a schedule of their choosing. However – what holds people back from becoming offshore contractors is the risk of not being able to find placements. 

Flexibility doesn’t necessarily mean total freedom.

Therefore, anyone who would prefer a consistent source of work (where they can reject and accept contracts according to their requirements) should take advantage of Select Offshore’s 35 years of experience in the industry as we carefully match passionate workers with roles that suit them – helping you organise visas, keep your qualifications up-to-date, and navigate otherwise difficult working environments.

In-Demand Job Positions

Offshore work isn’t just restricted to work in energy or construction, there are also placements in subsea exploration, standard operations, research, safety regulation, and standard management positions. The most in-demand offshore contractors are:

  • Drilling Contractors
  • Crane Operators
  • Mechanics
  • Electricians
  • Engineers
  • Regulatory Specialists
  • Project Managers
  • Administrators
  • Scientists 
  • Data Analysts
  • Researchers

Finding Offshore Contract Jobs Through Select Offshore

Select Offshore are offshore recruiters who deliver maritime professionals that are reliable, communicative, and enthusiastic. 

Is that you?

If you’re looking for exciting and competitive placements across any of our sectors (renewables, marine, heavy lifting, subsea, ROV, energy, and survey/inspection), we can connect you with a company that cares for its human resources and recognises the importance of human rights.

Our team strongly believes in celebrating each of the individuals we work with, dedicating time to find them desirable offshore placements. 

Contact us now.