Status for cases regarding compensation for quarantine

– Several processes are ongoing in the legal system to pursue the claims for quarantine compensation for our members, says Karianne Rettedal, lawyer and head of the legal department at IE&FLT.

During the coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of the union’s members were required to quarantine to reach their workplaces and carry out their duties.

Subsequently, IE&FLT initiated a large project to contact members and gather evidence.

Since then, on behalf of 678 members, the union has made claims that mandated quarantine related to travel for work assignments warrants financial compensation.

The date for the appeal case will be set soon

Three pilot lawsuits have been filed in the tariff areas of mobile offshore units, operators, and catering. The Stavanger District Court rendered a judgment in December 2023 in the case concerning offshore drilling rigs against Transocean, where our claim was not upheld.

The case has been appealed to the Gulating Court of Appeal. The date for the appeal hearings will soon be determined.

The other cases within the operator and catering areas, which have also been filed with the Stavanger District Court, have been agreed to be temporarily suspended between the parties. This means that the cases are put on hold pending the handling of the appeal case and the tariff dispute regarding compensation.

NHO has filed a case with the National Labour Court

Additionally, NHO has filed a case with the National Labour Court against LO/IE&FLT, claiming that the demand for compensation has no basis in the collective agreement. This case will be heard by the National Labour Court in week 37, from September 9th to 16th.

– The cases that were suspended in the Conciliation Board are being considered for referral to the ordinary courts within the applicable deadline to avoid legal forfeiture while awaiting the resolution of the other cases, says lawyer Karianne Rettedal.

Lost leisure time due to quarantine

IE&FLT has argued that an employer’s requirement for quarantine duty triggers a claim for compensation. The quarantine duty meant that the employee was unable to take scheduled and accrued leisure time.

-It was the employer’s decisions and the operation of the business that determined the quarantine duty. The employer is closest to bearing the risk for this, says Rettedal.

Erling Holmefjord, head of the labour department at IE&FLT, says the union has invested a lot of resources in advocating for and pursuing these claims in the legal system.

-It is important for us that members are properly compensated for the burden of lost leisure time due to quarantine. Some were quarantined for over a hundred days in one year to keep things running, he explains.