Royal Mail Group Night Worker Health Promotion Initiative and Free Health Assessment 2020
For the information of Branches and Area Health and Safety Reps, please see attached communications issued this week by the Royal Mail Group Safety Health and Environment, Occupational Health Team to promote night worker health and signpost those workers to the availability of a free health assessment if employees would like one which can be arranged via their line manager and the RMG occupational health service. Due to the current pandemic situation, the approach has changed this year from sending a home mailing questionnaire to night workers. This will be reviewed for 2021.
Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, a ‘night worker’ is an employee whose regular work hours includes at least three hours of the night time. Under this legislation, night time is between 11pm to 6am unless otherwise agreed. While working at night doesn’t necessarily pose any significant health risks, it may worsen some existing health conditions including epilepsy, depression, anxiety and diabetes. Employers are required by law to offer all night workers a health assessment. It must be ‘free’ and carried out before they become night workers and periodically thereafter. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) enforces the night worker health assessment requirement detailed in the Working Time Regulations 1998. The health assessment helps employers to identify where night shifts are causing workers health risks. After completion, it also helps to decide how best to make reasonable adjustments.
In line with the requirements of the legislation, during the month of September Royal Mail Group are offering night workers the opportunity to take up a regular “free health assessment” via a screening questionnaire that has been compiled with guidance from Royal Mail’s occupational health service provider. The night worker health assessment is designed to identify any risk factors associated with medical condition(s) and then allow advice to be obtained on how to manage them effectively. Night shift workers can receive a health assessment by request via their line manager who will then make a referral to the occupational health service by 28thSeptember. A health questionnaire will then be e-mailed to the night worker concerned to complete and return direct to the occupational health service provider. All assessments are in confidence. Participation is voluntary and if there are no health concerns, employees and line managers will receive a report to confirm this. As part of the exercise, the Royal Mail Group Occupational Health Service is distributing health advice to night workers which also contains advice on physical activity, diet, social interaction and the steps workers can take to help maintain and improve their health and minimise any adverse effects.
Managers’ Actions are to deliver the attached WTLL brief during September and provide the attached ‘Health Advice for Shift Workers’ information sheet/hand-out to all night workers. Managers must inform night workers they are entitled to receive a voluntary night worker health assessment if they wish and the manager must submit any requests by making a referral to the occupational health service via a provided on-line link by 28th September 2020. Night workers requesting a health-check assessment will be e-mailed a health questionnaire to complete electronically and return directly to the occupational health service for assessment.
The Royal Mail Group ‘Feeling First Class’ portal has helpful support content on both mental and physical health. Visit www.feelingfirstclass.co.uk (code FFC1 to register) and download the app from iTunes or the Google Play store. Call the ‘First Class Support’ Helpline on 0800 688 8777, visit www.rmgfirstclasssupport.co.uk or download the ‘Lifeworks’ app. New users are required to ‘sign up’ using a unique invitation code, which is ‘RMG-‘ and their payroll number, for example RMG-12345678.
Would ASRs ensure that managers have delivered the WTLL and that our night worker members are firstly, fully aware of the availability of the annual health assessment, secondly that they have received the health and wellbeing advice and thirdly that they are aware of the support services available to them should they require it for any reason.
- RMG Night Workers Health Assessment & Advice WTLL/Huddle 2020
- RMG Health Advice For Night Workers Handout 2020
- RMG Night Workers Health RMG Intranet Article 2020
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer