Sheila will try to answer as many of your English Social Care questions as possible, giving priority to frequently asked questions and questions regarding current events and trends.
Is It Ok for the Management to Ask Me to Stay on for Longer After Working an Eleven Hour Waking Night Shift?
Hi Sheila, when doing an eleven hour waking night shift, is it ok for the Management to ask me to stay on for longer in the morning? Say up to 11:00 am after starting at 9:00 pm the night before. There are adequate day staff but some of their calls are being added to the night shift rota at the end of their shift which makes leaving at 8:00 am impossible. The shift I am employed for is from 9:00 pm to 8:00 am officially.
Thank you for your question.
I consulted Chris King, one of our employment law specialists from Napthens Solicitors about your question and this is his advice:
Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, you would be classed as a “Night Worker”. A Night Worker is any person who works for at least three hours during night time on the majority of their shifts or in the normal course of work. Night time is defined as the period between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am. Given that most of your shift will be during night time, you will be a night worker.
The Working Time Regulations also sets limits for night work. Night workers should work no more than an eight hour average limit per day under Regulation 6 (1) or an 8 hour actual limit in the case of work undertaken by a night worker involving hazards or heavy mental or physical strain. I suspect that your role would not fall within the actual 8 hour limit and the average eight hour limit will be more relevant.
If you are required to work from 9 pm to 11 am this will be a shift of 14 hours. If this is done on a regular basis to mean that the average hours that you work is above 8 hours per day over a 17-week period then your employer will be in breach of the Working Time Regulations. There are no specific employment tribunal claims that you can bring to enforce this element of the Working Time Regulations. However, you are protected from suffering a detriment (or in the case of employees) being dismissed as a result of raising this issue with your employer. If you feel this is affecting your health then you may also be able to make a complaint to the Health and Safety Executive. It would be worthwhile raising your concerns with your employer in the first instance however if you feel able to do so.
I hope this is helpful.
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Sheila Scott OBE from 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.
Sheila will try to answer as many of your questions as possible, giving priority to frequently asked questions and questions regarding current events and trends.
Please note that Sheila can not offer answers to matters requiring legal advice. If your matter concerns a specific service provider, please contact the CQC.