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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 February 15 - 21  > 60% of nursing-care facilities force workers to work 16 hour shifts: Union survey
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2017 February 15 - 21 [LABOR]

60% of nursing-care facilities force workers to work 16 hour shifts: Union survey

February 18, 2017
More than 60% of nursing-care facilities for the elderly force their workers to work for 16 hours in a row including night shifts, a survey by the Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions (Iroren) has revealed.

In the survey which Iroren conducted in June 2016, among the respondent facilities, 90.2% use the two-shift work system. The survey also found that the number of hours that workers on a night shift have to work exceeded 16 hours among 60.2% of all the facilities surveyed.

In the same survey, in facilities adopting the two-shift system, 40.6% of workers work on night shifts more than four times a month, with the highest frequency of night shifts at 11 times a month. Regarding facilities utilizing the three-shift system, 17% of staff work more than eight night shifts a month. In the worst case reported, workers work ten night shifts a month.

The national government guidelines on night shift work recommend that the number of night shift duties that workers work per month be four times or less in two-shift system facilities and eight times or less in three-shift system facilities. Iroren demands that the government create a law on night shift which is at least as tough as the current guidelines.

A male worker working at a Tokyo nursing care facility said that he is often so busy taking care of residents at his facility all night that he cannot take even two hours of nap time during a night shift.

Past related article:
> Care workers forced to work long hours at night [February 28, 2014]
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