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Wales TUC: Night workers in Wales deserve better pay and conditions

As the clocks went back recently (Saturday) to mark the beginning of winter, the Wales TUC is calling for better pay and conditions for the 171,000 workers who regularly work night shifts in Wales.

  • Analysis shows that 1 in 3 night-workers earn less than £10 an hour
  • Key workers are twice as likely to do night shifts than other workers
  • Many working overnight are on low pay and insecure contracts, warns union body
  • Wales TUC says employers should consider safety hazards of night working and take responsibility for workers safely travelling to and from the workplace

Analysis published by the union body reveals that 1 in 3 (33%) night-workers earn less than £10 an hour. This is despite the heightened health risks that come with night work and the disruption it causes to workers’ lives.

Key workers

The analysis also shows that key workers are twice as likely to work overnight than other workers, with 16% of key workers working night shifts, compared with 8% of other workers.

Low-paid and insecure

The Wales TUC says that many key workers who keep vital services going overnight are undervalued and often employed on low pay and insecure contracts.

Their research shows that social care workers are more likely to work night shifts than other professions. But many jobs in the sector are low paid and insecure, despite the high level of skill and responsibility involved. 

Health impact of night work

As well as being detrimental to family life, the health risks of regular night work include cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression.

The Wales TUC is calling for a number of measures to protect and compensate night workers. These include:

  • Pay to properly reflect the likely additional costs of childcare and inconvenience that night shifts can entail.
  • New legislation to ensure that workers always have sufficient notice of their shift patterns so they can make arrangements well in advance. 
  • Compensation for shift changes at short notice.

Workers’ safety

Workers, particularly women, are at greater risk of harassment and attacks in their journey to and from work when it’s late at night.

The Wales TUC says employers should consider health hazards of night working in risk assessments,  and take responsibility for workers’ safety travelling to and from the workplace at night.

Wales TUC General Secretary Shavanah Taj yesterday said:

“Working through the night is tough – with night-workers at higher risk of health problems and disruption to their daily lives.

“We all owe Wales’s night workers a huge debt for keeping the country running while we are asleep.

“It is not right that so many of those who work overnight – especially in key sectors like care – are on low pay and insecure contracts.

“We must ensure that all night workers are treated with dignity at work. That means levelling up working conditions and pay and ensuring people are given proper notice of their shifts.

“And it means an immediate increase in the minimum wage to £10 an hour - which would benefit over two million key workers, and fair pay agreements across sectors which can agree fair rewards for those who work at night.”

Click here for the full press release

 

Original article link: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/wales-tuc-night-workers-wales-deserve-better-pay-and-conditions

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