We work a shift pattern of 3 shifts Monday to Thursday and 2 x 12 hour shifts over the weekend, and a fortnight of days built in to the rota. We are paid up-front 60 hours overtime annually before receiving overtime payment.

If an employee goes sick on a Sunday night shift and the shift is covered by another employee who would normally be off on a rest day, but is due to work days on Monday, should the cover man have to book holiday to get a rest day? We are currently expected to either work 12 hours overtime and book only 4 hours, or use a holiday to get a rest day. This becomes an important choice, once the 60 hours has been passed, as a 12 shift at double time is nice to have!

The same scenario applies for covering holidays, where an employee books holidays on weekend and is covered by another employee who is on rest days, but due to work days on Monday.

Another scenario is an employee on days asked to cover a night shift mid week (e.g. for training), would you expect him to then have to use a holiday to recover from the night shift?

This issue is causing concern, and is likely to reduce the flexibility of the staff, and make it hard to cover unexpected sickness and planned training events.

Richard Scott-Smith

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