The Working Time Regulations 1999 provide workers with certain entitlements. These include special protection for night workers who must be offered free and confidential health assessments before starting work, on a regular basis, or as appropriate to the individual.
What's the definition?
The regulations define night time as the period between 11pm and 6am, and a night worker as someone who normally works at least three hours a night on a regular basis. Occasional work at night does not constitute a night worker.
Occupational Health routinely sends out a health questionnaire to every member of staff classified as a night worker. The health assessment is voluntary, but enables the employee to report any health concern or medical condition that is difficult to manage or made worse, by working night time hours.
The health questionnaire remains confidential to Occupational Health. Medical details will not be passed on to managers other than a simple statement of fitness to continue with night working.
If a worker has a medical condition that may require work adjustments, an appointment will first be made with the Occupational Health Advisor, to discuss the health problem and agree on recommendations to be made to the manager and Human Resources.