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August 29 2018Read more
From the geographical location of the organisation to its target audience, services they offer, business objectives and everything in between.
Unsocial working hours (also known as anti-social hours) are common among shift workers. It’s work that takes place outside of the traditional (9am to 5pm) schedule.
Functioning during these periods can have adverse effects on your employees’ mental health. This can then go on to affect their productivity and overall job performance.
This piece explores unsociable working hours. We take a look at its effects on the mental health and wellbeing of employees.
Although there isn’t an official definition, This includes:
The government defines ‘night period’ as any time between 11pm and 6am. And a night worker as anyone who works regularly for at least three hours during this period.
It affects two main areas:
When friends and family members are working different shifts, it can be a challenge to create and maintain relationships. This then leads to a feeling of isolation, which can result in depression.
Workers will also experience difficulty adjusting their internal clock. It contributes to disruption to their sleep pattern, constant tiredness and could even lead to insomnia.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder there’s been a lot of research into the effects of working unsociable hours. According to The National Sleep Foundation, there’re links between working these hours and mental health issues.
The most common amongst such issues is stress. A study of nurses working unsociable hours found that the loss of sleep, inadequate pay and incentives and lack of social life all contribute to stress, depression and other mental health conditions.
If left unaddressed, these issues can worsen and lead to other underlining problems.
There’s no legal requirement to pay workers a higher rate for working unsociable hours. The only legislation regarding pay is that they must be paid the National Minimum Wage.
An employee is entitled to unsocial hours pay if the company includes a clause for payment for said hours within their employment contract.
The assessment should be undertaken by a qualified health professional before an employee can be classed as a night worker. The aim of the assessment is to identify risks and hazards to their physical and mental health before they start the job.
These should be offered before the employee becomes a night worker and then again at regular intervals for as long as they work at night.
It’s important to effectively manage and support your employees working these hours. This is necessary to ensure that there’s an even balance between their work life and social life.
Consider these tips for supporting employees:
If you’d like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on 0844 892 2493.
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