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The son of a friend recently had an accident at work.  We believe it may have been caused at least in part by him being over-tired.  I don't want to give too much detail here, but basically he works 9-5 but has to do overnight on call for a full week every 3 weeks or so.  It's not unusual for him to be called out a couple of times in one night in the small hours (not every night) but his employers still expect him to be back at work 9am next day.

I believe there is law covering the amount of time you have to be away from work after working at night but can't find the info.

With respect can I ask at this time that people refrain from giving opinion, tempting as it is, unless that opinion is backed up by legal fact.

Go to a CAB...........they offer independent advice on all sorts of problems or there is probably an appropriate web site you could check

Shrinking Violet

ACAS are incredibly helpful in all sorts of queries about employment law.  Check them out at and follow the links.  You can phone them - and speak to a real person who will be very helpful.

Thanks for the suggestions.  I'll pass them on.  Greatly appreciated.



Also if he is not a member of a trade union then it would be a good idea to join if that's possible.

The European Working time directive states you should have 11 hours between the end of one day and the start of another, however it's vague and there are exceptions for things like on-call, but then there has to be compensatory time given.  There are a lot of websites that can give you this information.

There are similar on-call schemes in the public sector the NHS employers website has information about how they work.  Good luck.


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