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More people in UK working night shifts, shows research

More people in UK working night shifts, shows research

New research from the TUC reveals that the number of people working night shifts in the UK is rising.

The new report comes as London Underground workers are set to take strike action over proposals to introduce all-night services


The TUC's research into the ONS Labour Force Survey noted that just under 3.2 million people in the UK can currently be called 'night workers'.

This represents an increase of 200,000 since 2007 and is a rise of 6.9%. Over the same period, the general work force grew by around 4.6%.

The increased numbers cover people who said that it is normal for them to work at night. However, the survey did not take into account how much work is actually being done and whether there is a corresponding increase in productivity.

There is also a gender split with around 15% of male workers and only 10% of female workers likely to work at night. 

The UK careers most likely to be affected were found to be in the health sector, with care workers, nurses and midwives making up a large part of night workers.

Health risks

Several recent studies have indicated there may be health risks associated with night shift work, the TUC also warned about this as well as the more general effects on family life.

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," O'Grady added.

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