New research has found that the number of retail staff working regular night shifts has increased by 50%.
The research by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) found that between 2007 and 2017 the number of retail workers who worked nights as a regular shift pattern increased by 50%.
According to the ONS, there are 70,000 people who mainly work nights as part of the UK retail sector. Night workers make up just 3% of the UK’s entire retail workforce.
As many as 27% of retail workers were found to be frequently changing shift patterns, going from late nights to early mornings in quick succession. The number who had changing shift patterns a decade was just 18%.
The rise of 24-hour supermarkets and online retail where customers can shop at whatever time they choose, are said to be major factors in the increase in those working the night shift.
ONS figures show that nearly 18% of all grocery shopping was done online last year, a figure that has raised from just under 3% in 2007. People solely working in the night increased by 77% since 2007, with more men working night shifts than women.
Dr Helen McKenna from the Royal Free Hospital warned of the dangers of night work saying: “Try to get a half-an-hour nap, if it is safe to do so and if your employer will allow it.”