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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 February 13 - 19  > 70% of nursing-care facilities impose 16 hour shifts on workers: Union survey
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2019 February 13 - 19 [LABOR]

70% of nursing-care facilities impose 16 hour shifts on workers: Union survey

February 16, 2019
At 70% of nursing-care facilities using a two-shift work system, the number of hours that nursing-care workers work on a night shift exceeded 16 hours, the Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions (Iroren) on February 15 announced.

At a press conference held in the Labor Ministry office building, an Iroren officer said, “Under the government policy to expand the acceptance of foreign workers, it is estimated that 60,000 foreign workers will eventually be working in the nursing-care sector. The government insists that these workers will work under working conditions ‘comparable’ to Japanese workers in their workplaces. This means that foreign workers will be thrown into excessively long night-shifts the same as Japanese workers.”

Iroren at the press conference published the results of its annual survey on the actual status of nursing-care workers involved in rotating night shift work.

According to the union survey, in 2018, among the facilities surveyed, 89.5% adopted a two-shift work system. Of them, 69.4% imposed on workers a 16-hour night shift. Regarding a question about the number of night-shifts worked in a month, of workers at facilities using the two-shift system, 36.4% answered more than four times and some said 14 times, which was the highest. Asked the same question, 7.2% of workers under the three-shift system worked more than eight times and the highest was 20 times.

Currently, there are no rules regarding the number of night shifts that nursing-care workers work per month. Iroren has long demanded that nursing-care workers also be subject to the government-set night-shift limits for nurses. Under the government standards, the number of night shifts for nurses under a three-shift system is limited to eight times a month and for those under a two-shift system to four times.

Past related article:
> 60% of nursing-care facilities force workers to work 16 hour shifts: Union survey [February 18, 2017]
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