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Employer Has Changed My Shifts: What Are My Rights?

By: Kevin Watson MSc - Updated: 4 Dec 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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I have been nightshift for over 4 years constant how much notice does my employer need to give if they want me to come days ? .
Kfc76 - 4-Dec-20 @ 6:16 AM
I’ve been working at my place off work for 23 years got a new manager two weeks ago he’s already tried to take a weeks holiday off me took me off my job I’ve done for all this time and put me on sweeping up filling shelves and cleaning so degrading he’s now hinting about changing hours I work three days a week and have done for a long time now he also says things to me in front off other employees can he do all this
Tez - 11-Nov-20 @ 7:46 AM
I am working night shift 8pm to 8am, can I do 8pm to 7am because of child care. Is it any low in uk
Raj - 29-Oct-20 @ 10:45 PM
I am working night shift 8pm to 8am, can I do 8pm to 7am because of child care.
Raj - 29-Oct-20 @ 10:39 PM
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
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 I desperately need advise pls I'm clueless
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
I work weekends only9fri sat sun)12hrs shifts total of 34.5hrs perweek. we have been told that this shift is now ending and we are to be moved to a 5 day week mon =fri .I stated I cant do these hrs as 1 I was employed as a weekend worker which is why I applied for the job and 2 I care for an elderky parent and my week days are planned around appointments and care. can I be force to change ?
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
I work in retail my manager put me on Sunday shift when I was due to work on Monday 12/10/2020. I had aweekoff. She denyed and said I was aware of the Rota which is not true otherwise I would have come. We having issue and Company interview all employees this is very sensitive time. I'm not sure if I should contact to HR or not as I don't want this issues create problems for my new role. Please what should I do ?
Amazing - 14-Oct-20 @ 5:35 PM
I have worked for my company for more than 2years. When i started, i signed in for night shift which actually the shift posted and i wanted. In the course of this pandemic i was temporarily laid off and recalled after two months to work. I have been giving a hint that night shift will phased out and then i will be put to day shift. I purposely put in for night shift because i school during the day. Now due to covid-19, i assist in home schooling the kids because my wife works day shift. Is this fair for done to force me to day shift? Will they terminate me if i refuse? Will the lay me off? What can i happen in either way?
King - 5-Oct-20 @ 9:02 PM
My retail company has said manager and assistant manager can't work same shifts during covid. We have worked same shifts for 8 years. If we don't work together I will have to work evenings to get my 35hrs in I don't want to work evenings. Is it legal for them to do so
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
Hi, so about 2 months ago we were all told that’s we would have to pick a shift to work on either lates (which I’ve been working for the past 3 years as that’s the only shift that it has been) or nights (which they are starting up due to this whole corona virus). They did get enough volunteers to do nights so they’re making us work two weeks of lates and 2 weeks of nights. I really didn’t want to work nights as I have before for another company for 7 years and of had enough (part of the reason I went for this job) it’s making me depressed and I feel cut off from everyone. What’s even worse is they haven’t even paid us our night rate this month, so there is no benefit at all to working the nights. I don’t know what to do. I know I could just leave my job but it’s not a great time to be doing that. I really need some advise. Thank you
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
I started my job had interview they told me 9to530 i start oh its 6to like 330 ok then changed it again 8to pretty much 8 12 hr shifts not what i signed up for if i knew that i would have not taken the job
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
My work keeps Texting me on the day to day I've got to do the late, I've explained and said I've got no childcare!? I'm also not allowed to take my child to the same nursery but another lady is, is this fair? What can my work do to me if have no childcare?
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
My manager is trying to force me into changing my shifts. For the last 2 years I have been doing 11-4 Monday-Friday but now they want me to do Wednesday-Saturday, I’ve told me I don’t want to do it and they said I haven’t got a choice. Can they do that?
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
I'm having to caring for someone who is shielding, so need to know when I'm free to run errands, however I work for an agency and am currently placed at a large distribution centre. Despite requesting for advance notice of shifts I haven't had a reasonable response. I work the 1430-2200 shift and don't usually find out whether I'm working until the evening bofehand, although it can be as late as mid morning the same day. They won't even provide me with a confirmation of when I definately won't be working, so I can make arrangements around that. Is there a minimum period of notice that must be given before the start of a shift
WarehouseMonkey - 25-Jul-20 @ 5:36 PM
After 15 years they want to change my shiftsfrom 7-7 to 10-6. 6-2. 2-10 can they do that
Taff - 22-Jul-20 @ 7:14 PM
hi both my partner and I were locked down In Spain and the company we work for in the UK still traded and have refused to furlough us is this legal. also when we go back to work there is a chance we will have to do our hours over 4 days and not 3 as we do now. how much notice do they have to give us to change shifts??
tez - 20-Jul-20 @ 9:36 AM
So I work for a company in my contact itvsaid work 37.5 hrs a week. When I had my interview the shifts I was told was 8am to 8pmand work 1 in 4vweekends which is fine I have no issues with that at all and I get the train to work.The company axpandg and we had a meeting via zoom via to inform up that the office hrs are changing to stat from 6am to 11pm my first train of the day is 06:30 and my last train in 23:15 its a ten minute walk from the office to the train station also i has a autistic child so a routine is important to him. What are my rights
k - 16-Jul-20 @ 9:17 AM
I have a new employee that started working for me on the 4th of july, she already has a part time job of 16 hours. I have also offered her 16 hours. Her employer has now started to rota her in on her days off which is the days she works for me, he is also dropping comments such as get your priorities right you were here first. She usually does mainly days, I mainly need her on a night, but now her boss is not giving her any advance on shifts, she also needs to sort childcare for her 3 year old .he is making her shifts longer so she can't attend her job here with me, I have spoken to him to see if we can work together and he said no. Can he behave this way?
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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