TUC: "They need better notice of their shifts and proper compensation if work is cancelled".
There are now 268,000 people regularly working nights in Yorkshire and the Humber, new TUC analysis shows.
In the region, 12.3% of the workforce are regularly doing night shifts.
The analysis shows that older workers are powering the national increase in night working, with workers over 50 accounting for all the growth in night workers since 2014.
There are now nearly one million (924,000) night workers aged over 50 in Britain – up from 751,000 five years ago.
A significant proportion are aged over 60 (222,000) and 65 (69,000).
The TUC says key factors behind the rise are:
- Older employees staying in work for longer
- More jobs being created in sectors like social care where older workers are more likely to be employed
- Night working at highest level since current records began
The number of people regularly working night shifts is at its highest level since the Office for National Statistics began collecting records in their current form.
The analysis of official data shows that 3.25 million people (more than 1 in 9 workers) work in Britain’s night-time economy– 100,000 more than five years ago.
While the number of over 50s doing night work has accelerated in recent years, fewer young workers are doing night shifts.
As the clocks go back tonight to mark the beginning of winter, the TUC is urging greater protection for the millions of UK workers who regularly work through the night.
As well as being bad for family life, the health risks of regular night work include cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression.
The TUC says these risks are heightened for older workers.
Commenting on the analysis, TUC Yorkshire and Humber regional secretary Bill Adams said: “Britain’s loyal army of night workers has been boosted significantly by older workers.
“We all owe them a huge debt for keeping the country ticking over while we are asleep.
“Night work can be really hard – disrupting family life and placing a strain on people’s health.
“The government is not doing enough to protect these workers. They need better notice of their shifts and proper compensation if work is cancelled.”