Hard Day’s Night: TUC report calls for fair deal for night work
The work-life balance impacts of night working
A new report gives useful information for Unite reps on the housing sector. The report concentrates on work – life balance; see here for a recent update on the growing research evidence showing that night shifts are damaging to health.
The TUC does not oppose night working, but argues that employers must properly consider and address the implications for staff. Decisions to extend night working should always involve consultation and negotiation with workers’ representatives to ensure fair and safe outcomes.
The negative health impacts of night work are already well-documented, such as heightened risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression. However, less attention has been given to the impacts on home life and relationships.
A Hard Day’s Night reviews the available research, which shows that night working can increase the risk of relationship problems, can affect the emotional wellbeing of a night worker’s children, and is associated with higher childcare costs. But the negative impacts of night working are less when employees have more influence and control over their shift patterns.
Fairness and safety for night workers
The TUC recommendations that:
- Employers and unions should ensure that night working is only introduced where necessary.
- Where night working is introduced into a workplace, no existing workers should be forced to work nights.
- Shift patterns should be negotiated between unions and employers.
- Workers should have some element of control over their rota, so that they can ensure that the shifts they work are best suited to their individual circumstances.
- Workers should always have sufficient notice of their shift patterns so they can make arrangements well in advance. Changes at short notice should be avoided.
- The remuneration paid to those working nights should properly reflect the likely additional costs of childcare and inconvenience that night shifts can entail.
To read the full report 'A Hard Days Night' click here