Working Conditions of Contract Workers in the Oil and Gas Industries

Working paper 276

Across all industries and services sectors, the use of contract and agency labour has soared. The oil and gas industries are no exception to this trend. Upstream, contractor firms are at work in exploration, drilling, production, construction, transport and catering. Downstream, they have a dominant presence in refineries, in which they are employed to plan, build, equip and maintain. Individual contract workers, often hired through specialized or general employment agencies, are active throughout the sector. This working paper examines: What types of work they do; what trends and challenges are facing them; what their pay levels are, how compensation levels are set; how their working time is organized; how they reconcile their work with family life; what can be done to promote their safety and health at work; and, how social dialogue can improve their conditions. This paper asks the oil and gas industry to adopt recommendations based on the results of researching these issues.