Wired-GOV Newswire (news from other organisations)
Printable version E-mail this to a friend

TUC: Number of people working night shifts up by more than 250,000 since 2011

As the clocks go back to mark the beginning of British Winter time, the TUC is urging people to spare a thought for the millions of UK workers who regularly work through the night.

New analysis published by the TUC shows that the number of people who work night shifts increased by 275,000 (9%) between 2011 and 2016 to 3,135,000.

Britain’s large army of night-workers now accounts for one in eight (12%) employees.

Women are fuelling the growth in night work

It used to be that most night-workers were men working in manufacturing plants but this has changed drastically. In 2016 one in seven male employees (14%) were night-workers, compared to one in 11 (9%) female employees.

However, women account for more than two-thirds (69%) of the growth in night-working over the past five years.

Between 2011 and 2016 the number of women regularly doing night work increased by 190,000, while for men it increased by 86,000.

Clear gender split in night-working

There is a clear gender split in the kind of jobs male and female night-workers do.

The two most common professions for female night-workers are care-working and nursing. The number of women doing night shifts in these professions increased by 15% and 4% respectively over the past five years.

Male night workers are most likely to work in protective service occupations (military, security, policing) and road transport. However, the number of men doing night shifts in these professions fell by 26% and 12% respectively over the past five years.

People in the mid-40s are most likely to be night-workers

Night work can begin as young as 16. More than 80,000 workers aged 16-20 regularly work nights. And there are nearly 150,000 people still working night shifts in their sixties.

But the age group with the highest proportion of night-workers is 45-49. They account for one in 8 of those who usually work nights.

Male night-workers are most likely to be aged between 45–49. However, the most common age group for women night-workers is 25–29. 

London has seen the largest growth in night work

London has seen the largest growth in night-workers over the past five years (+98,000), followed by the South West (+50,000) and Wales (+40,000).

The TUC says the introduction of the Night Tube in London, and proposals for a seven-day NHS, are likely to lead to further increases in night work in coming years.

However, across all parts of the UK night-working has increased fastest in Northern Ireland (+58%), followed by London (+30%) and Wales (+29%).

Commenting on the analysis, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Tonight most of us can look forward to an extra hour in bed. But as we sleep, millions of workers will be busy keeping the UK ticking over.

“Whether its nurses looking after patients, or police officers keeping our streets safe, we all depend on Britain’s army of night-workers.

“Night work is hard and can disrupt family life. So we must show our appreciation for the sacrifices night-workers make by ensuring they have good rights and protections at work.

“Employers must play fair and play safe, or public safety will be put at risk and the families of night workers will suffer.”

The work-life balance impacts of night-working

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.

The TUC does not oppose night-working, but argues that employers must properly consider and address its impact on staff. Decisions to extend night working should always involve talks with unions.

Fairness and safety for night-workers

The TUC recommends 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 rotas, 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.

    NOTES TO EDITORS:

 Increase in male and female night-working

Sex

2011

2016

Growth 2011-2016

% change 2011-2016

% of all employee working nights 2016

Men

1,809,994

1,895,332

85,338

4.5%

14.0%

Women

1,050,292

1,239,534

189,243

15.3%

9.4%

Total

2,860286

3,134,866

274,580

8.8%

11.8%

Source: Labour Force Survey

Top 10 most common occupations for male night-workers

Rank 2011

Profession

Number

Rank 2016

Profession

Number

% change 2010 -16

1

Protective Service Occupations

130,814

1

Protective Service Occupations

103,731

-26.11%

2

Road Transport Drivers

113,846

2

Road Transport Drivers

101,726

-11.91%

3

Elementary Security Occupations

76,157

3

  Other Elementary Services Occupations

81,944

7.06%

4

Other Elementary Services Occupations

75,205

4

Caring Personal Services

77,730

3.25%

5

Caring Personal Services

66,237

5

Elementary Security Occupations

60,605

-9.29%

6

Elementary Storage Occupations

51,859

6

Elementary Storage Occupations

51,613

-0.48%

7

Process Operatives

49,153

7

Food Preparation and Hospitality Trades

50,858

3.35%

8

Metal Machining, Fitting and Instrument Making Trades

40,544

8

Process Operatives

50,042

18.98%

9

Health Professionals

37,125

9

Health Professionals

45,273

18.00%

10

Plant and Machine Operatives

34,600

10

Metal Machining, Fitting and Instrument Making Trades

39,381

12.14%

Source: Labour Force Survey

Top 10 most common occupations for women night-workers

Rank  2011

Profession

Number

Rank 2016

Profession

Number

% change 2010 - 16

1

Caring Personal Services

231,472

1

Caring Personal Services

270,811

14.53%

2

Nursing and Midwifery Professionals

169,260

2

Nursing and Midwifery Professionals

176,090

3.88%

3

Other Elementary Services Occupations

73,114

3

Other Elementary Services Occupations

77,253

5.36%

4

Health Professionals

30,694

4

Sales Assistants and Retail Cashiers

39,632

22.55%

5

Protective Service Occupations

29,781

5

Health Professionals

38,854

23.35%

6

Sales Assistants and Retail Cashiers

24,427

6

Teaching and Educational Professionals

33,663

27.44%

7

Leisure and Travel Services

21,520

7

Protective Service Occupations

30,530

29.51%

8

Teaching and Educational Professionals

21,261

8

Customer Service Occupations

20,470

-3.86%

9

Managers and Proprietors in Hospitality and Leisure Services

14,550

9

Leisure and Travel Services

18,747

22.39%

10

Elementary Sales Occupations (porters, waiters and bar staff)

14,003

10

Elementary Sales Occupations

18,552

24.52%

Source: Labour Force Survey

Night-working by age and gender

Age group

16-19yrs

20-24yrs

25-29yrs

30-34yrs

35-39yrs

40-44yrs

45-49yrs

50-54yrs

55-59yrs

60-64yrs

65-69yrs

70 and over

Number of Men

41,462

193,728

238,975

212,457

209,971

237,443

240,338

232,554

167,743

77,332

33,791

9,538

Number of Women

42,922

153,105

178,494

157,077

122,251

142,043

147,523

132,842

95,953

45,057

16,019

6,249

Source: Labour Force Survey

Night-working by region/nation

Region/nation

2011

2016

Growth 2011-2016

% change 2011-2016

% of all employees working nights 2016

North East

152,600

142,997

-9,603

-6.3%

13.8%

North West

337,791

354,735

16,944

5.0%

12.5%

Yorkshire and Humberside

245,592

257,689

12,097

4.9%

12.7%

East Midlands

209,913

237,082

27,168

12.9%

12%

West Midlands

244,894

267,451

22,556

9.2%

11.8%

East of England

266,283

250,526

-15,756

-5.9%

9.4%

London

323,519

421,459

97,940

30.3%

11.9%

South East

355,939

391,501

35,561

10.0%

10.6%

South West

213,969

264,030

50,061

23.4%

11.7%

Wales

137,454

177,782

40,327

29.3%

14.5%

Scotland

309,201

270,036

-39,164

-12.7%

11.9%

Northern Ireland

63, 126

99,572

36,446

57.7%

11.4%

Total

2,860,286

313,4866

274,580

9.6%

11.8%

Source: Labour Force Survey

  • All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
  • Follow the TUC on Twitter: @The_TUC and follow the TUC press team @tucnews

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Alex Rossiter  T: 020 7467 1285  M: 07887 572130  E: arossiter@tuc.org.uk
Tim Nichols  T: 020 7467 1388  M: 07808 761844  E: tnichols@tuc.org.uk
Michael Pidgeon  T: 020 7467 1372  M: 07717 531150  E: mpidgeon@tuc.org.uk
Elly Gibson (Mon to Thurs)  T: 020 7467 1337  M: 07900 910624  E: egibson@tuc.org.uk

 

Latest News from
Wired-GOV Newswire (news from other organisations)