The first pilot case on quarantine compensation has been sent to court

On Tuesday, Industri Energi sent the first of four pilot cases on quarantine compensation to the Stavanger district court for ordinary court proceedings. – The legal basis is a claim for financial compensation, because our members lost free time in accordance with the employment agreement, says Karianne Rettedal, lawyer and head of the legal department at Industri Energi.

During the corona pandemic, employers required a number of the union’s members to stay in quarantine before their ordinary stay period offshore in accordance with the company’s work schedule. It concerns 46 companies, where most of the companies are members of either NHO/Offshore Norway or the Norwegian Shipping Association.

Since mid-February, a total of 678 claims have been submitted against 46 businesses within several tariff areas. Most demands have been put forward in the area of ​​floating rigs. The total size of the claims is just under half a billion kroner. The claims have been submitted to the Stavanger Conciliation Board.

Overall progress in the cases

In the interest of overall progress and case management, a deadline was set for reporting their demands to the union until mid-May.

-The last conciliation complaints were sent on 5 June 2023. The Conciliation Council has made a decision to recommend the first cases that were sent in February 2023. There is a deadline of one year to bring these before the court. A decision has not been reached in all the cases yet, it is expected that they will be the same in the future, says Karianne Rettedal, lawyer and head of the legal department at Industri Energi.

On 13th June 2023, the union sent the first of four pilot cases to the Stavanger District Court for ordinary court proceedings. Other matters are put on hold pending a decision on them.

– We have selected four businesses, one within each tariff area, as pilot cases. The remaining three will be sent to court as soon as practicable. The first subpoena that has now been sent is aimed at Transocean, says Rettedal.

Lost free time in accordance with the employment agreement

She says there is close and good cooperation between the members, the relevant shop stewards, the union’s case managers, the lawyers in Industri Energi and the law firm Hjort in these cases.

– The legal basis for the claims is a claim for compensation on the basis that you have lost free time in accordance with the employment agreement. We have looked at interrelated considerations of the collective agreements, which are included in the individual terms of employment. We have looked in particular at the waiting period provisions and other provisions that regulate loss of free time.

-We have assumed 12 hours per day of quarantine. We have not distinguished between quarantine imposed by the authorities or quarantine imposed by the company, both are the result of the employment relationship, Rettedal explains.

Probably before the court around the turn of the year

The district court normally has a six-month processing time from the receipt of the summons. – Due to the summer holidays, we expect that the case will come up in court in December 2023 at the earliest, but it could also be in the new year 2024, depending on the approach to the case in the district court, she says.

The work with quarantine compensation is very extensive. Since October 2022, an estimated 25 employees of Industri Energi in legal, organizational, IT, working life and media have worked on the cases.

Read more about compensation for mandatory quarantine here.