The term ‘prescribed period’ is used in the Regulations to set time limits on the various steps. A period of five weeks has been set in order to reflect crew changing cycles, which vary from installation to installation. Five weeks is a maximum period, to take account of those installations with long crew changing cycles.
The ‘prescribed period’ can and should be reduced on installations with short crew change cycles, in order to cut down the overall election timetable. Significantly shorter periods may be particularly appropriate for mobile, single-employer constituency elections (see regulation 15 and paragraphs 45-51 in this guidance), where the employer’s team is scheduled to be on the installation only for a relatively short time. It is important to ensure that, as far as possible, all constituency members (except those who are unavailable, for example absent due to sickness, holidays or training) should take part.
Source: A Guide to the Offshore Installations (Safety Representatives and Safety Committees) Regulations 1989, Guidance on Regulations (UK HSE L110), Third Edition, 2012. Regulatory Guidance
“The prescribed period” means the period of five weeks or such shorter period as is reasonably practicable to make representations, or nominations, or to vote as the case may be.
Source: The Offshore Installations (Safety Representatives and Safety Committees) Regulations 1989, UK S.I. 1989/971, 1989. Regulations