Introduction to this document

Shift work clause

As we move towards a 24-hour a day culture, it will become more and more common for employees to undertake shift work. Shift workers don’t usually have normal hours of work. Rather, they work hours according to a shift rota and these shifts can vary from day to day or week to week. In this scenario, you will need our shift work clause.

Shifting work patterns

Normally, shift workers work according to a shift rota. This might mean they work one particular shift one week and then a different shift the following week. Alternatively, their shifts could vary from day to day. These are known as rotating shifts. However, if, for example, the employee always works a fixed night shift, then you only really need to refer to these hours as the normal hours of work in the written statement of employment particulars. This is because they might well work a shift but that shift never changes so the employee does have normal working hours. Our Shift Work Clause is to cover the scenario where the employee’s shifts change or rotate on a regular basis according to a shift rota. It also gives you the flexibility to change the shifts to suit the changing needs of your business. Finally, our clause includes provisions relating to pay, rest breaks, requests to change or swap shifts and free regular health assessments for night shift workers. In relation to pay we have provided two options: one where the shift worker receives the same fixed basic rate of pay regardless of the timing of their shifts and the other where the shift worker receives extra shift pay for working certain shifts, such as might apply for night and weekend shifts. Note that for employees (and workers) starting employment (or their engagement) on or after 6 April 2020, where their working hours or days may be variable, you must include details of how they vary, or how that variation is to be determined, in the written statement of employment particulars.

Between shifts

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, the provisions for daily and weekly rest periods can be excluded in relation to shift workers in certain defined circumstances. This is because if a shift worker changes shift, it may not be possible for them to take their full rest entitlement before starting a new pattern of work. Where rest periods are excluded, equivalent compensatory rest periods must be provided.