Rise in Divorce Rates for Shift Workers
According to recent statistics released by law firms, there has been a significant rise in divorce rates among couples where one or both partners work shifts.
Marital issues are not the only problem linked to shift working. Studies have shown that working shifts can lead to health issues such as obesity and depression but the findings on divorce rates are new and significant considering the growing number of shift workers in the UK.
1 in 8 UK workers now work nights and the total of workers has risen by 250,000 in the past five years alone to reach more than 3 million. A US study found that among men who were married with children, the divorce rate was six times higher than those who worked days.
A study carried out in 2000 by US researchers found that among men working night shifts who had children, separation or divorce was six times more likely in the first five years of marriage than if they were working days.
One law firm claims that the proportion of divorces amongst shift workers has risen by 35% in the past three years indicating the scale of the problem.
Working shifts often disrupts family life when people spend their days catching up on sleep rather than spending time with family. Then there are issues with zero hours contracts which mean the work itself is irregular.
Extra marital relationships can also form between those who are working night shifts regularly and spending a lot of time together.