Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, night workers are offered special protections including free and confidential health assessments before starting night work then on a regular basis or as appropriate to the individual.
Although it’s up to each individual employee whether or not they complete the health assessments, employers must offer them. The assessments are to ensure that the employees do not become ill as a consequence of working the night shift, and that they do not have any medical conditions which might be incompatible with night work.
Some conditions which might need to be taken into consideration when doing night work include:
If an employee suffers from any of these, they are not automatically unsuitable for working the night shift. A night worker health assessment will identify any risk factors associated with the conditions and then give advice on how to manage them effectively, including any controls which should be put in place to ensure the employee is able to work safely.