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Employer Has Changed My Shifts: What Are My Rights?

By: Kevin Watson MSc - Updated: 25 Oct 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Work Nights Day Shift Night Shift

Q.

I have been asked to work nights, I have no one to look after my son on some of the nights I am wanted to work. There is still a day shift running on the section that I am currently working on. What are my rights to stay on the day shift if my employer trys to force me to work nights?

(A.D, 1 June 2009)

A.

The Issues

The suggestion that an employer may force someone to work nights is certainly worrying. Employers who take this approach upset staff and damage their companies’ reputations.

Furthermore, it’s clear from the question that this employee cannot work nights. After all, on some occasions there’ll be no one at home to look after a child.

First Point

The first point to make is that an employer cannot force someone to change shift patterns. This is unreasonable. There’s a potential problem in the way this situation may unfold, however.

If an employer tries to force a member of staff to work nights, and the member of staff refuses, such a confrontation is bad for everyone involved. The member of staff may win in the short-term; but in the medium to long-term, the employer may prove difficult over other issues such as granting time off.

Communication

One way to avoid harmful confrontation is for both sides to talk to each other in a sensible way. More than likely, the employee will have to make the first move.

The best course of action is to speak to the appropriate manager. Explain why a change to the night shift is impractical. Most managers will respond positively.

If the manager isn’t sympathetic, speak to the HR section. Again, explain the situation and ask to stay on the day shift.

Flexible Working

If the HR section takes the manager’s side, or your company doesn’t have an HR professional, then discuss flexible working.

Employees have a legal right to ask for flexible working. To make such a request within the law, an employee mustn’t be an Agency Worker; must have worked for the company for 26 weeks or more; and mustn’t have made a similar request in the past year.

Employees must also give a reason for the request. The three eligible reasons are:

  • caring for a child aged 16 or under
  • caring for a disabled child under 18 who is receiving disability living allowance (DLA)
  • caring for certain adults
In this question, the employee is not asking to change hours as part of a flexible working arrangement but to stay on the day shift. Because the request is not to change, the employer may seize on this and still try to force the employee to work nights. If so, the employee needs to point out that once on the night shift, he or she will demand the legal right to Flexible Working. This will lead to a return to the day shift in order to care for the child.

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Our superior alow one worker to work day only us we work night and its pain cos i live a 4mouthbaby but she dont want to rotate 3 shiftwith us and the Hr dont want to solve these matter
Lesego - 25-Oct-20 @ 6:02 AM
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Lee - 24-Oct-20 @ 5:23 AM
I was working for two years straight night shift and then they moved me to work on day shift during the lock down my mother got sick and cannot 100% look after herself I got a friend to help out during the day yesterday my manager ask me move to night shift I tried to tell him why I can't go to night shift but he didn't give me a chance to explain I told him that I can't go tonight but he insisted and said if I don't go to night shift then I have no work I must stay at home and he will book me fora hearing I even recorded him he said that he don't care whether I go to ccma or what he don't care he asked my supervisor to call the securities to escort me of the site later that day so my supervisor phoned me and said that I must write a letter as to why I can't work night shift I explain to them they phone me and told me that I must get proof by her doctor that she's a patient there and that I'm the cargiver and then he phone and said that he won't accept that he wants a doctor report from my mother doctor I then told him that the doctor said that he won't be able to give me more than than information due to the fact that my mom is the patient and not me and that it's private and confidential my mom also don't want him to give out any information about her sickness so the manager phone me and told me that he won't accept that letter and he don't care he just want to see me night shift I then spoke to his boss looks like he is taking the manager part and is also not replying to my messages
Lee - 24-Oct-20 @ 5:19 AM
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short - 18-Oct-20 @ 11:02 AM
i have been informed that my employer has changed my shift pattern from 3 on 3offto 2 on 2 off 2on 2off 3on 3off with no consultation with the people affected or written conformation or notice what can i do about this and can they legally just do it without any consultationthank you
giddy - 17-Oct-20 @ 8:49 PM
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Amazing - 14-Oct-20 @ 5:35 PM
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King - 5-Oct-20 @ 9:02 PM
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Loz - 4-Oct-20 @ 5:52 PM
Hello, can my manager put me in the night shift if i don't want to?
???? - 2-Oct-20 @ 8:49 PM
Hi I been working for 4 years now I love my job working as a cleaner with old people now there telling us we have to change our shift 8 in the morning intell 7 at night can everyone help .
Dune - 2-Oct-20 @ 1:43 PM
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johanboul - 28-Sep-20 @ 10:36 AM
I usually work night shift from 20:00 to 8:00. This happened after the new rules from the prime minister saying everything shuts at 22:00. Can the management change my shifts to day shift if I am not ok with it.
Shaba - 23-Sep-20 @ 7:02 PM
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Char - 21-Sep-20 @ 3:36 PM
Can my employer allocated me my rota, now I've noticed they have took 2 of my sleeping off me and gave to another member of staff , can they do this without notifying me
Ethel - 20-Sep-20 @ 7:34 AM
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Tj - 18-Sep-20 @ 11:11 AM
Can my employer change my shifts without discussing it with me first??
Ek - 9-Sep-20 @ 11:26 AM
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Lish - 21-Aug-20 @ 7:53 AM
If someone quit because they are illegally in the United States can they come back and get the hours they had before even though they have been given to me
Non - 21-Aug-20 @ 1:56 AM
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Kayla - 17-Aug-20 @ 3:09 PM
I suffer with severe GAD (generalised anxiety disorder) My husband put in a request to not do night shifts anymore due to me not having anyone around if I’m to have an attack however, they blankly outright said no he is a fully flex manager and isn’t allowed such requests. Can they do this? His request was to not work from the hours of 1am-5am. I end up ringing him every night shift due to having an attack.
3001soph - 9-Aug-20 @ 1:54 PM
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Taff - 22-Jul-20 @ 7:14 PM
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tez - 20-Jul-20 @ 9:36 AM
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k - 16-Jul-20 @ 9:17 AM
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CJ - 14-Jul-20 @ 12:37 PM
I was furloughed on the 17th of April and now I'm told I have to relocate to another factory as the one I worked at is closing and the only shifts they have are 2-10 my original shifts where 7am till 3pm which suited me as I would be home b4 my son finishes school I told them I want earlier shift of 6-2 and was told they had no spaces so they said I can do a 6-2 2-10 Monday to Friday which I'm still not happy about its messes your sleep pattern up they employ agency staff on early shifts do I have any rights please can you help
Treacle - 4-Jul-20 @ 3:39 PM
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Di - 2-Jul-20 @ 2:15 PM
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Concerned Parent - 1-Jul-20 @ 6:04 PM
My employer gives me a late notice about shifts. The shift is 6-2pm and i recieve a text message or phone call between 2am-4am, everyone else get theirs the afternoon/night on the day before.
HiByeBillyBob - 26-Jun-20 @ 6:44 AM
My employer just told me on wednesday that starting next week monday they are taking away 3 rd shift and forced to work first shift hours 8am to 4pm legally is this enough notice ? What if this doesnt work for some employees and have to quit due to this would they be eligible for unemployment. ?
Pickens - 19-Jun-20 @ 10:31 AM
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