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To think only essential work should take place at night?

(72 Posts)
daffodildaisyyellowblue Mon 29-Feb-16 17:41:26

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/three-million-britons-working-night-shifts-and-endangering-their-health-10438592.html

Working nights is bad for your health.

Obviously some jobs like doctors and nurses just have to work nights and I get that can't be avoided, but does McDonald's and tesco and the like really need to be open 24/7? Isn't that unfair on the workers?

usual Mon 29-Feb-16 17:44:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DrDreReturns Mon 29-Feb-16 17:46:20

I worked nights and loved it.

x2boys Mon 29-Feb-16 17:47:33

depends i suppose dh works for tesco warehouse they employ three shifts earlys 7 am -3pm 3pm -11pm and night shift 11pm -7am the night shift workers are permanent and most want to do it for the extra money plus it can fit in with childcare ,i was a nurse for many years and like you say an essential worker but i did permanent nights for three yrs for child care reasons.

Hulababy Mon 29-Feb-16 17:48:08

Just to put some other sides of the debate out:

Isn't that unfair on the workers?

But is it not their choice to work in a job requiring shifts or night work?

By increasing working hours, they increase the number of workers required - the same people don't work all day every day. Reduce those hours and jobs will go.

Supermarkets etc being open at other hours does mean that more people can access them. If they were only open 9-5pm, when do other day workers get there?

HermioneJeanGranger Mon 29-Feb-16 17:49:08

We'll always need people to work nights in the curent climate.

Even if big supermarkets aren't open 24/7, you need people to work overnight to replenish the shelves, recieve delivery, change displays, cash up and do all the other behind-the-scenes jobs. I start work at 6am in a supermarket. We don't open on Sundays until 10am, but I still have to be there early to get things going. Hot food takes 90+ minutes to cook, so if customers want that as soon as the store opens, we need to get their in time to cook it.

People wouldn't be happy if supermarkets opened at 10am in order for delivery etc. to be worked beforehand, so it's never going to change.

IPityThePontipines Mon 29-Feb-16 17:51:10

OP you will be flamed, but you have a point.

Stats on health for permanent night workers are not great.

I think it is something we as a society need to discuss and consider. It would be interesting to know what the percentage increase in night workers is.

As a side point, many hospitals do emergency surgery only, at night because mistakes are more likely to happen then.

daffodildaisyyellowblue Mon 29-Feb-16 17:57:14

True usual

I do think it's a shame that someone's health could potentially be at risk due to a burger though.

HermioneJeanGranger Mon 29-Feb-16 17:58:37

Nobody is made to work nights, though. And in fact, lots choose it. More money, no childcare costs, etc.

daffodildaisyyellowblue Mon 29-Feb-16 17:59:38

I know hermione but it's not always choice - if you're a shift worker you might accept the job and the hours come with it.

DaphneWhitethigh Mon 29-Feb-16 18:01:31

The thing is that we don't allow workmen to make a free choice not to wear their helmets/workboots etc. We don't allow waitresses to make a free choice to work in restaurants where people smoke. We used to allow them to chose for themselves, but now we force employers to prevent their employees from making those choices. And we have saved thousands of lives over the decades by this steady restriction of individual autonomy. Working nights is arguably just as dangerous as passive smoking in the workplace.

The problem is that working nights has a very significant upside in terms of childcare, and the negative side effects can lie invisible for years.

HermioneJeanGranger Mon 29-Feb-16 18:02:20

They can't just put you on nights without telling you! You have to agree it in advance. And most job descriptions specify nights/days/earlies/lates/shift-work as standard anyway.

The general shift pattern where I am is 6am-2pm, 2pm-10pm, 10pm-6am. Obviously people don't all work those shifts, we have lots of people doing school hours, evenings after college etc. but that's the general gist of things.

IPityThePontipines Mon 29-Feb-16 18:02:33

Nobody is made to work zero hours contracts and yet very few think they are fair or desirable.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 29-Feb-16 18:03:05

There are so many more people now - imagine if the shops did half day Saturday like when I was young - you wouldn't possibly accommodate all those in need of food - let alone any other service

That with more women out at work so unable to shop in the day -

IPityThePontipines Mon 29-Feb-16 18:04:53

Daphne - Sorry, I missed your comment, but you are exactly right.

HermioneJeanGranger Mon 29-Feb-16 18:09:24

I don't think nights can be compared to zero-hour contracts, though.

Night-shift workers are paid extra for their hours, they have solid contracts, employment benefits, sick-pay, holidays and everything else day-workers get. Zero-hour contracts are nothing like that.

HelenaDove Mon 29-Feb-16 18:28:26

I worked nights in a sex chatline office from 2001 to 2003 and the day workers were paid the same as the night workers.

You do realize there is no legal minimum wage for nights.

IPityThePontipines Mon 29-Feb-16 18:30:02

I don't think nights can be compared to zero-hour contracts, though

Well, zero hours contracts haven't been linked to cancer, so there is that big difference.

Also, what makes you think only day-time workers get zero hours contracts. There'll be night workers on those too.

Osolea Mon 29-Feb-16 18:33:34

Of course it's not unfair on workers, it's providing them with a job that they presumably need.

Doing pretty much everything is bad for your health in one way or another, and considering the size our elderly population is growing at, it probably isn't much of an issue.

ZiggyFartdust Mon 29-Feb-16 18:33:58

If everyone works days, how does anyone do anything the rest of the time? You think only essentials like drs and nurses should work at night, but what about shops, restaurants, bars, bus/train/tram/taxi drivers, fast food outlets, theatres, cinemas, venues?

Do you want everyone to work 9-5 and then go home and stay indoors, unable to go anywhere or do anything?

daffodildaisyyellowblue Mon 29-Feb-16 18:35:18

Osolea, was that a joke? shock

daffodildaisyyellowblue Mon 29-Feb-16 18:36:50

Ziggy,'I think you're being quite unfair to me there. I haven't said no shift work, just nights. I mean, Next et al manage to function without staying open past 9/10 o clock. I'm talking past midnight up until 3/4 am.

ZiggyFartdust Mon 29-Feb-16 18:40:00

You didn't specify what nights means though. After 10pm? After midnight? What?
There are millions of jobs that cover part or all of a night. If you don't think people should work past midnight that is a lot of fun things that would need to close down!

Andrewofgg Mon 29-Feb-16 18:44:18

All those branches of work which cater to people's leisure needs have to operate when others are not working - and like it or not, for many of us shopping has become a leisure activity.

And "the current climate" has nothing to do with this: if the shops open 9 to 5, Monday to Saturday, somebody has to drive through the night with fresh produced every night except Saturday but including Sunday.

HermioneJeanGranger Mon 29-Feb-16 18:45:02

Just because shops aren't open to the public at 10pm, doesn't mean people aren't at work, though confused, especially with supermarkets.

There needs to be someone in to sign for deliveries, there needs to be people in to stack shelves, to cook the hot food, to set up the fresh food counters, to change the displays, to do all the price changes that happen on a daily basis, to work the delivery that arrives, to load/unload delivery lorries, to do the online shopping, etc etc.

That all has to be done before the shop opens for the day, and it takes HOURS. Delivery where I am starts at 4am and often isn't finished until gone midday, and that's on a Sunday when there are no customers until half past nine!

How do you propose all those jobs get done if we don't employ anyone from 10pm-6am? Customers want the store ready when it opens - if that's to happen, we need people to work nights. It won't work otherwise.

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