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Acas publishes report findings from the Lindsey oil refinery investigation

Monday 16 February 2009

Acas, the employment relations service, today published its report into the facts surrounding the dispute at the Lindsey oil refinery.

The report, requested by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), states that there has been no breach of EU law and employers acted in accordance with collective agreements.

John Taylor, Acas Chief Executive said:

'Whilst the report shows no evidence of the law being broken there is a source of tension around the Posted Workers Directive and its application to construction work and the UK's industrial relations system. These issues have been highlighted by the recession.

'This report should help focus the areas that can be usefully addressed to improve employment relations in the UK.'

Download the full report:

pdf icon Lindsey report (16 02 09) [267kb]

Notes to editors

1. Report conclusions

  • The Acas inquiry found no evidence that Total, Jacobs Engineering or IREM have broken the law with regard to the use of posted workers or entered into unlawful recruitment practices.
  • There is tension around the application of the Posted Workers Directive in the UK, and its relationship with the UK's industrial relations system. These issues have been highlighted by the recession.
  • The complexity produced by the interrelation of EU law, national agreements and supplementary local collective agreements is a potential source of confusion and dispute. A review by the relevant parties of the interrelationship between national and local collective agreements would aid transparency and reduce the potential for misunderstandings and conflict.
  • An enhanced role for the NAECI independent auditor in both the tendering and project monitoring processes, if this could be agreed, would, we believe, play an important part in helping to overcome some of the difficulties that this dispute has raised.

2. Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides information, advice, training and a range of services working with employers and employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance. It is an independent statutory body governed by a Council consisting of the Acas Chair and employer, trade union and independent members.

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