Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

30th October 2017

Is it Legal for a Care Home to Only Provide Shift Rotas Two Weeks at a Time?

Our care home has just told us that they will only do shift rotas two weeks at a time. Is this legal?


Dear C,


Thank you for your question.


I recently had a similar question and asked Chris King, our Employment Law expert at Napthens Solicitors and this is what he said:


"An employer should give an employee who works an irregular shift pattern reasonable notice of their hours. Normally this would be included in the contract of employment and the standard notice period is around 7 days. However, given your specific circumstances, if you feel you are not receiving adequate notice to take account of your caring responsibilities it would be worthwhile requesting an informal meeting with your manager to explain your personal circumstances and request that you are given additional advanced notice of shifts as appropriate.

Hopefully, this resolves matters but should your employer fail to take a reasonable position on this your next step would be to raise a formal grievance."


I realise that this doesn't completely answer your question but it is quite clear that you should receive at least one week's notice. You should also check your contract of employment. If there is a different length of time in your contract then there is a process that an employer should go through with employees before making any changes.


Please come back to me if you require further information.


Best wishes,



*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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