Number of night shift workers up by 260,000 in five years

The number of people regularly working nights has shot up by 9% (260,000) since 2012, according to analysis from the TUC.

There are 3.2 million (12%) late night workers in Britain, with the North West and Yorkshire being home to the highest rates of night-workers (1 in 9).

The most common industries for late night work are security, logistics, manufacturing and healthcare.

The majority of night-workers are male, at 62%, and only 38% are women, and there are significantly more black night shift workers (18%) than white workers (11%).

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Whether it’s firefighters keeping watch, or drivers delivering packages across the country, we all depend on the UK’s army of night-workers.

“Night work can play havoc with family and social life, and have long-term health impacts. Many of the jobs are tough and often solitary.

“That’s why night workers deserve strong rights and protections at work, to make sure they can get on with the job safely and happily.”

The TUC recommends that:

  • Employers and unions should ensure that night-working is only introduced where necessary, and that no existing workers should be forced to work nights;
  • Shift patterns should be negotiated between unions and employers;
  • Workers should have some control over their rotas, so that they can ensure that their shifts suit them;
  • Workers should always have sufficient notice of their shift patterns so they can plan well in advance. Changes at short notice should be avoided;
  • Working night’s leads to extra costs and inconvenience for workers, especially around childcare. Night work wages should reflect this.

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