Oil giant Shell plans to implement a less tiring rota system for its UK North Sea offshore workers after its competitor Total faced strikes over a requirement to have workers spend more days at offshore platforms.

Shell will move back to a system where employees will work two weeks on offshore platforms and then move to onshore platforms for three weeks.

At three Total platforms, UK North Sea offshore workers protested over plans to introduce a rota system that requires them to work at offshore and onshore platforms for three weeks respectively.

Since the reduced production three years ago, most Shell employees have been working on offshore platforms for three weeks and then spending four weeks at onshore platforms.

The Unite workers’ union has been campaigning against the tiring rota system citing health and welfare issues.

"The aim of the review was to see how we can continue to drive offshore productivity, address a number of issues raised by our offshore workforce."

According to a report by Offshore Contractors Association released in April, many workers experience fatigue after spending three weeks at a stretch at offshore platforms.

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Shell stated that this new plan will not lead to any job losses. The new rota system will be implemented in the second quarter of next year.

A Shell spokesman was quoted by Reuters as saying: “The aim of the review was to see how we can continue to drive offshore productivity, address a number of issues raised by our offshore workforce.

“We consulted extensively with our offshore workforce and we believe these changes will be welcomed.”

Currently, Shell employs 800 workers at its offshore platforms in the UK North Sea.

The new rota system will not be applicable to employees at its Brent Alpha or Brent Bravo platforms, which will be decommissioned next year.