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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50483
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I work permanent nights - can I be forced to fill out a

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I work permanent nights - can I be forced to fill out a health assessment?
I work the same shift 5 days per week and I am being asked to attend meetings in the middle of my 11 hour rest period. My employers say this is covered by compensatory rest but I thought this applied to shift changes not meetings - is this correct?
I regularly work a 9 hour night shift due to overtime - is this above the statutory maximum?
Due to a disagreement with a colleague I have been subject to an investigation. The meeting was 3 weeks ago - I am still unaware of the outcome. How long should this process take?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

If you are a night worker the employer must offer you a free health assessment, however you do not have to accept this. Confirmation from the Government website here:

You are correct that compensatory rest is not there to cover meetings outside of normal working hours - it is mainly there if you have not been able to take your usual breaks due to working shifts, working extra unplanned hours, if your work requires continuous provision of care, etc.

Night workers cannot work more than an average of 8 hours over a 24-hour period. This average is calculated over a 17-week period (unless a longer period was agreed by you and the employer). So that means you could potentially work more than 8 hours on numerous occasions, as long as the average over this calculation period does not go above 8h over a 24h period.

Finally, there is nothing in law which states how long the investigatory process should take, it can take as long as necessary for the employer to gather the relevant evidence.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Ben Jones and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you Ben
Just to clarify, I have been threatened with disciplinary action as I did not declare high blood pressure on a health assessment but I was worried about being dismissed and was not told the assessment was voluntary. Can I be disciplined for this omission and can I be dismissed if I now declare this condition?
Lastly, does the average of 8 hours include occasional overtime? Are all hours or just hours worked on a night shift included? If the shift is 8 hours with a 30 minute break - is that 7.5 or 8 hours?

Hi there, you should not be dismissed just for having high blood prsssure, although if you have worked there for less than 2 years you have no unfair dismissal protection so dismissal could happen as you may not be able to challenge it. The only way to challenge it is if the blood pressure was linked to some sort of disability as then you will get disability discrimination protection. If you have been there for over 2 years then you get automatic unfair dismissal protection so to dismiss you for this will likely be unfair.

Not having declared the HBP on the form may now mean you have misled the employer so they could potentially seek to discipline you, however it should only attract a warning at worst. I do mot see a dismissal for this being fair, unless, again, you have less than 2 years service.

Finally, the hours that count are only working hours, so hours during which you are undertaking work and will not include breaks. However, overtime will could towards the continuous calculation of the average hours you have worked.