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AIBU to not want to work nights anymore?

(5 Posts)
laluna Thu 15-Sep-11 12:43:21

Need advice please.

I am a midwife working part time (half full time hours) and this involves any combination of 12 hour shifts of days and nights and early/lates of 7.5 hours. There is no set pattern - the Trust doesn't structure its working in this way. Eg for the next two weeks, my shifts have been: early monday, night saturday, night monday, early friday, night sunday, full day thursday, early saturday, late monday. My OH has recently started working a two and a half hour commute away and involves staying over, on average, a couple of nights a week. There is a bit of flexibility for him to work at home and he tries to work this around my shifts for childcare (2 children at Primary school) but it is difficult for him to be flexible in his role.

Working nights knackers me completely - I find them hard physically and am sometimes sick with tiredness in the night. I cant work them when OH is away as I am not prepared to sort out overnight childcare. Do you think this consitutes a reasonable request for flexible working and not working any nights or am I being precious?

PuspornInBoots Thu 15-Sep-11 12:49:08

It would depend on how your colleagues are treated - someone has to work nights, unless the trust specifically employs night midwives who only work nights. Are there any who would like to do permanent nights? If not, then I think you will just have to suck it up, everyone in the same boat - being unable to do some nights because your OH is away is one thing, but refusing to do any just because you don't like them thus dumping them on colleagues who also have homes/families/lives outside work is something else. How much notice do you get of upcoming shifts? I can see how it would be hard to make childcare arrangements (and any other plans) if you don't get much advance warning of the shifts you're down for.

gasman Thu 15-Sep-11 12:51:56

YANBU for not wanting to do nights. I know very few healthcare professionals who enjoy this aspect of shiftworking.

WRT your application for flexible working I think you need to examine whether:
1) nights are part of your role eg. are you ward based
2) whether a precedent has been set and you have colleagues who do the same job who don't work nightshifts.

I know that for us (doctors) the only way to be excluded from regular nights which would be part of our normal job is to have them excluded by occupational health.

Therefore the easiest way for you to avoid doing nights might be to look for a role that doesn't involve working nightshifts. I don't know what the set up is around you but where I am not all of the community midwives participate in the on call homebirth rota so they don't do nightshifts. There are also Midwives who only work in the early pregnancy clinic who no antisocial hours at all. These jobs are, unsuprisingly, competive though as there are lots of people who find shiftworking challenging from a domestic point of view.

titan Thu 15-Sep-11 12:54:22

Presumably it's part of your job description and contract that you work the required shifts? Whilst it's probably reasonable to request not to work nights temporarily e.g, due to illness or advanced pregnancy, in the long term if they are really making you unhappy maybe you could consider applying for a different job. Do community midwives have more family- friendly hours for example?

titan Thu 15-Sep-11 12:55:41

Oops X-posted with gasman who said it better!

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