Editor's message: Employees who work outside of normal working hours are typically compensated through additional pay. As a general rule, the greater the disruption to an employee's normal life, the larger the premium: while some shift patterns - such as permanent mornings - often do not attact an additional premium, for employees on permanent nights the additional pay can be considerable. Employers should make it clear in the contract of employment what the shift premium is and how often it will be reviewed.
For information on shift-working arrangements, see Shift work.
Rachel Sharp, HR practice 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.
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%.
A model contract clause on shift payments.
In Calder and another v Rowntree Mackintosh Confectionery Ltd (19 February 1993) EOR49A, the Court of Appeal upholds a finding that the employers had satisfied the defence under s.1(3) of the Equal Pay Act by showing that a differential between women twilight-shift workers and male rotating-shift workers was due to the inconvenience of being required to work rotating shifts.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to shift pay.