Illustration depicting a sign with a night shift concept.

The number of people regularly working nights has shot up by 260,000 in the past five years and the highest figures are in the North West according to new analysis from the TUC.

Britain’s late-night workforce now has nearly 3.2 million members, meaning 1 in 9 (12%) workers in the UK now work in the wee small hours.

1 in 6 (18%) black workers work nights – significantly more than the 1 in 9 (11%) white workers who do so. Over 150,000 black workers now do night work.

The majority (62%) of night-workers are male, with women making up well over a third (38%). 1 in 11 women work nights, compared to 1 in 7 men.

The North West and Yorkshire have the highest rates of night-working, with 1 in 9 workers on night duty.

Previous research by the TUC revealed that night working is most common in industries such as security, logistics, manufacturing and healthcare work.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“As the clocks change, most of us can look forward to an extra hour in bed. But while we sleep, Britain’s late-night workforce will be busy.
“Whether it’s firefighters keeping watch, or drivers delivering packages across the country, we all depend on the UK’s army of night-workers.
“Night work can play havoc with family and social life, and have long-term health impacts. Many of the jobs are tough and often solitary.
“That’s why night workers deserve strong rights and protections at work, to make sure they can get on with the job safely and happily.”


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