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UK employees increasingly working night shifts

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There has been a significant increase in the number of UK employees working night shifts, according to a report from the TUC.

A Hard Day’s Night revealed a 6.9% increase in people working nights between 2007 and 2014.

The number of women working nights has grown at a faster rate than their male colleagues, with regular night working by women increasing by 12% since 2007, compared to a 4% rise for men.

The news coincides with a strike by London Underground workers over public transport provision at night. Unions have expressed concerns that Tube workers may suffer poor health as a result of night shifts.

Regional officer for Unite Hugh Roberts said that London Underground had “failed to give future guarantees over work-life balance and unsocial hours working”.

“London Underground has offered nothing meaningfully new,” he added. “Its refusal to give firm long-term commitments on the number of weekend and unsocial shifts expected to be worked leaves our members unable to plan their future family time."

The TUC's report recommendations include ensuring that night working is only introduced where necessary, and state that shift patterns should be negotiated between unions and employers.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We all value night workers, whether they are cleaning our office, caring for a sick relative or driving all night so that there are fresh goods in our local shop. But night work is hard and it disrupts family life. So we must show our appreciation for the sacrifices night workers make by ensuring they have sensible rights and protections.

“It’s not right for employers to require night working without adequate consultation and negotiation. With night work increasing employers must play fair and play safe, or public safety will be put at risk and the families of night workers will suffer."