Co-op launches manifesto for night shift workers

The Co-op is publishing a manifesto to improve the mental and physical health of night shift workers.

Supermarket retail


The Co-op is launching a new manifesto to improve the conditions of night shift workers in Parliament today.

It is estimated that around seven million UK workers work at night, with many of them being key workers during the pandemic, and research shows they have a greater risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, obesity and depression. These are linked to chronic disrupted sleep.

The Co-op, in partnership with the Wellcome Trust and Liminal Space, has recently rolled out a sleep engagement programme Night Club to its logistics workforce and has laid out “the five ‘Rs’” to improve their mental and physical well being. These include recognising and championing night shift workers as a specific group, responding to their needs, respecting the challenges they face, using research to improve their conditions and raising their profile to promote a cross-industry response to those challenges.

The Co-op is also calling for employers to be held legally responsible for the consequences of night work unless mitigating action is taken.

Andy Perry, Co-op’s Supply Chain and Logistics Director, said: “Sleep is something that unites us all – we all need it and we all know how terrible we can feel without enough of it. Yet whilst our round-the-clock culture is propped up by a growing number of people who work through the night, their contribution to society goes largely ignored.

“It is essential that we, as employers, do everything in our power to establish a recognised framework of best practice which places the interests of night shift workers at its heart and that policy is put in place to protect their physical and mental health. We are delighted to be launching this new manifesto and we hope that it forms the basis of a movement which will radically improve the lives of many people who are working in the UK night after night, year after year.”

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