Working Nights: municipal strategies for nocturnal workers

04 December 2021

At a glance:

  • Precarity is a defining characteristic of shift and night work. Workers do not choose to work at night, but often only do so out of necessity.


  • The rise of precarious night work is partly due to the changing nature of the labour economy. This is particularly true for delivery and care workers.


  • Sex work is rarely included in the NTE, but there are an estimated 72,800 sex workers in the UK and working at night is common. It is important to include them in progressive debates about the NTE.


  • Workers in logistics, broadly defined as all workers employed in the chain that connects warehouses to retailing, are particularly affected by the precarity-shift work nexus.


  • This report considers municipal strategies as a means to democratise the night-time economy, these include policy proposals and foundational infrastructures.


  • The report makes two fundamental propositions: it calls for setting up a ‘nocturnal commons’ and argues that a key step to democratise the economy is addressing the precarity of night-time workers.


  • Local governments can implement the set of propositions we outline in this part, in collaboration with unions, workers and grassroots organisations.


  • The solutions and policies in this report are not intended to encourage more night work: evidence shows the detrimental health effects of shift work on workers.



Alessio Kolioulis
Julian Siravo
Paul Apostolidis
Camille Kummer-Buléon
Louis Matheou
Cosimo Campani

This report was supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation