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Employer Has Changed My Shifts: What Are My Rights?

By: Kevin Watson MSc - Updated: 4 Mar 2021 | 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 work on a rolling rota and look after 2 grandsons on days off ..my employer and changed my shift pattern by putting it back 3 days ...can they just expect me to do that without asking me if this is ok .
kags - 4-Mar-21 @ 3:18 PM
I use to work a 3 shift patern but for the last 3 months irotate from normal 8 hour shifts to 12 hour shifts and there is just no more patern i only find out on a thursday what shift my manager feels his going to put me on the next week i can't make any plan's with my wife and my manager has no intrest in stopping this weird rotations as he claims he want people outside their comfort zones.
Rods - 18-Feb-21 @ 6:23 PM
My husband is working for a company that I work for but I left them because I was working on the doors at the weekend only I was finishing at 5.00am in the morning and this company I did work for want me to do a day shift my husband was working a night shift and after finishing at 7.00am then they given him a day shift after doing a night shift so when he finished at 7.00am in the morning he had to go and do a day shift at 8.00am in that morning after finishing doing a night shift how can anyone do over 24 hour shifts
Aisha - 8-Feb-21 @ 8:17 AM
My work is changing my hours to a time I can't do because of having to help and look after my mum witch lives bye herself and is 74 years old can they do this .
Slink - 29-Jan-21 @ 6:55 PM
I have been working night shifts for about 1 and half year ...my manager doesn't want to change me to day shifts..and I leave with my daughter's child she's 6months...my daughter stay at varsity to complete her studies...where is my rights
Gakzo - 28-Jan-21 @ 1:22 AM
I have been working night shifts for almost 1 and half year ...my manager doesn't want to change me to day shifts..and I leave with my daughter's child and she's only 6months ...my daughter she stay at varsity to complete her courses ...so am struggling about the child especially when am coming to work night ...where is my rights??
Gakzo - 28-Jan-21 @ 1:19 AM
I have been working night shifts only for over 5 years, my manger refuses to give me rotation of day and night, is there any law in south africa
Sino - 20-Jan-21 @ 6:51 PM
I have been working 0600 to 1400 shift and now my employer is changing my start time to 0300 until 1100 and the reason is apparently to meet business needs and saying like it or lump it and the implication is either do as you are told or find a job elsewhere. Can you offer any help?
Lex - 17-Jan-21 @ 4:52 PM
I've been working for a year at my job, but I'm quite young, I'm only just 18 and my manager has put me on a seriously late shift I am uncomfortable with this because I'm young and the area in which my work is placed is considered dangerous at night, I've got a minor disability which makes me struggle to run, is it reasonable for me to ask to cancel my shift?
Kirsty - 18-Dec-20 @ 6:02 PM
My employer due to covid is switching our shift from 12 hour days 2 on and 2 off to 3 on and 2 off then 2 on to 3 off and they are now say we are going to move to monday thru friday. There will be 1st shift, 2nd shift and 3rd shift due to me only being here almost 4 years I wont be on days but I'm on days now 7am to 7pm. I cant work any shift but 1st shift if its 8hoir days due to my kids. Can they make me switch? Or fire me? They did this once b4 but I took voluntary layoff but this time I cant do that. What are my options because I cant do 2nd or 3rd?
Allen - 12-Dec-20 @ 9:12 PM
Have worked particular shift for 16 years and now my employer is taking me of this shift and putting me in a variable roster what are my rights
Dil - 9-Dec-20 @ 12:32 PM
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
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