Workforce Management Solutions within the Oil and Gas Sector

Are you a UK based company that is thinking about deploying your people to international projects? Or are you already doing this but experiencing difficulties mobilising your people? Well, this is the article for you.

The UK is still one of the world’s major oil & gas hubs but as margins become increasingly tight more and more companies in the North Sea are looking further afield for new projects. Whether it is South America, Africa or Asia there are some excellent opportunities for British based companies aboard.

However, there may be a few stumbling blocks for British based companies looking to mobilise their workers internationally for short term contracts. The main one being, just how do you get them into country? Another stumbling block some of our existing client have faced is recruiting local staff to supplement their existing UK based staff and contractors.

That is where we come in. Leap29 are a UK based recruitment and PEO company that are world renowned for the compliant secondment of our client’s staff and consultants into many countries globally.

By partnering with us, it allows you to focus on what you specialise in and deliver to your clients. To find out more about outsourcing workforce management including the benefits and how to choose the right partner, check out our recent guide ‘Outsourcing Workforce Management’.

This article includes case studies from each continent, but we have experience in 90 + countries across the globe so for more information about a specific project please get in contact with us. (01625 537 555 or email us on

Workforce Management in Malaysia

Workforce Management in Malaysia

We have been supporting the Oil & Gas sector in Malaysia for over 10 years. We are able to manage locally based employees as well as provide support to expats on short or long-term secondments. The latter is a service we have provided to several companies in Aberdeen who have been awarded well services contracts in Malaysia. In order to get a work permit you need to have a local presence which you are unlikely to have if you are just supporting on ad-hoc projects. Due to the amount of work we do in the region we do have a local office in Malaysia which allows us to be the sponsor for your workers.

Malaysia can be a complex location for work permits. Depending on where in Malaysia your project is, there are different requirements to enable your people to work compliantly. For a full breakdown of managing employees in Malaysia read our 'Malaysia Payroll and Tax' Guide.

We regularly support companies without a presence in Malaysia to help recruit local contractors for their projects. Typically, Oil and Gas contracts in Malaysia require you to have local Malaysians within your workforce. We regularly provide strong shortlists of candidates that are immediately available to work on your project. This can typically be provided within 1 week.

Workforce Management in Ukraine

Workforce Management Ukraine

Ukraine is another place that can be tricky to do business but is a huge growth area for the oil & gas sector. Our first introduction to this market was when we were asked to recruit local drilling and HSE specialists for a project there.

Our client also had some existing expat staff that they needed to mobilise. They were not able to add any more expats to their existing organisation in Ukraine, so they asked if we were able to assist with the immigration and local payroll. For expats working in Ukraine, depending on the length of your project a work permit may or may not be required but we can advise you on this depending on your specific situation. We are also able to ensure that local payroll is carried out in accordance with the local regulations ensuring that all relevant taxes and employer costs are taken care of. If you have a project coming up in Ukraine and are unsure of any of the processes, please get in contact with one of our experts for any advice. (

Workforce Management in Ecuador  

Workforce Management Ecuador

In Ecuador it is difficult to hire contractors due to the “tercerización” initiative. The country wants to ensure staff are not outsourced as a means to reduce their employment rights. Put simply, it’s a bit like trying to outlaw zero-hour contracts in the UK. This does create problems in hiring contractors though for short term contracts which are commonplace in the Oil & Gas sector.

If your workers are nationals of one of the Mercosur countries, then tercerización is less of an issue. We can support them in applying for a Mercosur visa which is a straightforward process that will then allow them to work in Ecuador (or any of the other Mercosur countries). We can then pay them in their home country where they take care of the appropriate taxes. You can also invoice your client from your country of origin.

If the contractor is not from one of the Mercosur countries, this is where the tercerización issue comes into play. They would need a work permit and a local sponsor. They also would need to pay their taxes and social security costs in Ecuador. There would also be a tax for the contractor when they are taking their money out of Ecuador. We can provide this solution and give you guidance on the best ways to stay compliant.

Workforce Management in Nigeria

Workforce Management Nigeria

Africa in general offers abundant opportunities for UK based Oil and Gas companies. The most established Oil & Gas market in Africa though is probably Nigeria. The Niger delta area is rich with producing Oil Fields offering a range of different opportunities for companies looking to expand into the region.

Nigeria has a strong and highly experienced local workforce so finding local people to work on your projects need not be a concern. There are also a high number of expats working in the country and if you are looking to mobilise your existing staff overseas then obtaining visas is not a difficult process if you have an experienced partner to help. Leap29 have been operating in Africa for a number of years and we have a local team that can assist with visas and compliant local payroll.  

With our solution your employees would receive a local salary that will be subject to Nigerian income tax as well as employer social costs. If you are looking to use expats in Nigeria your workers will need to have a local sponsor in order to obtain and employment visa. There are quite a few steps to the process and time wise it can take up to 45 days from initial request to having your people ready to mobilise.


So, if you are holding back on bidding for international projects because you are worried about being able to mobilise your workforce you are worrying unnecessarily. These are just a few examples of solutions we have provided but we are able to support in over 90+ countries globally.

We are already working with UK based companies who are utilising our immigration, payroll, tax, insurance and local compliance services. Our dedicated recruitment team with an extensive network of Oil & Gas candidates are also available to help supplement your existing teams with local staff if required.  

If you have a specific location that you are looking at then get in contact with our team on 01625 537 555 or and we can give you a full breakdown of how we can assist in that country.

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