Editor's message: Shift working is used by employers to make full use of resources in the industrial sectors and to provide a 24-hour service for customers. Shift working is common in organisations providing services relating to utilities, health, entertainment and retail. Increasingly, shift working is being used in service industries to meet the demands of a 24-hour society and international dealings.
Careful consideration needs to be given to the pay premiums generally paid to shift workers and the most appropriate type of shift pattern taking into account restrictions on working hours and the health of workers. Another factor to consider is the level of management and support required by shift workers.
Felicity Alexander, employment law editor
Our latest research investigates the most common shift patterns and looks at the hours, rotations and pay of shift workers.
Practical guidance on employing shift workers, including shift patterns; shift premiums; and night work.
Definition from the XpertHR glossary.
Shift-working arrangements can be complex, involving various start and finish times, and shift rotations, but they continue to be used by companies to meet business needs and to match staffing with variable demand for goods and services.
Shift premiums remain stable, with few employers further enhancing pay for shift working, but, nevertheless, working antisocial hours or on alternating shift systems continues to merit additional reward, which can boost earnings by as much as 50%.
Good practice guidance discussing the importance of flexible working, the issues involved in drawing up an organisational policy and the main types of flexible working.
A model policy to set out the process by which employees can agree to swap shifts with colleagues.
A model form for employees to request a shift swap.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to shiftwork.