Night Shift- Process and Policy



Swami Vivekananda had once told the youths of India "Arise, Awake and Stop not till the goal is reached". It seems that the new generation has taken the "Awake" part very seriously.

Digital India is digitally awake and supporting clients across the globe by supporting them for the entire night IST. Let’s explore more into the night shift policy

What is it:

Basically it means a group of people working together in night with an organization for the purpose of business after the regular office hours of 9:00 to 6:00. Shift timing is where the associate is required to be working for 6 hours or more between 8:00 p.m to 6:00 a.m. (Note that the policy varies from company to company. Some company considers the start time as 10:00 p.m. , other company considers the start time as 8:00 p.m.). Night Time, Night Shift and Graveyard Shift were the names given to the overnight work (usually between 10 pm to 8 am). Night shift is common in the following industry:

  • Food & beverage industry
  • Hospitality Industry
  • Transportation sector like Aviation, Railways
  • Construction where it is allowed to work in shift
  • Entertainment and Media

It has become very common in the IT and outsourcing industry, which makes huge profit because of people working in night shift, and this works very well with India as time difference is close to 12 hours as compared to the US time zone. Night shifts were started in India to increase the support of foreign clients during their working hours.


The organization work at night for managing business across the globe and the employees work for the night shift allowance. India has adapted the Night shifts completely .As India Inc is promoting diversity, the organizations are taking active steps for the safety of women working in the shifts. There’s a increase in networks of organization and market place during night work. Where the time differs from place to place, organizations also work in rotational shifts with the different domain and requirements.

Night Shift Allowance (NSA):

This is the additional amount given on top of your salary. Entitlements for the Night Shift given to you can change from organization to organization. In the IT services company, night shift is billed to the customer. Note that this should be mentioned in the SOW (Statement of Work). In case, if the night shift is not billable, then you would need prior approval from the delivery manager. Note the following points related to Night Shift

  • The allowance is paid on a monthly basis through the regular payroll and is subject to income tax deductions.
  • The employee should use the Company provided transport to commute to work for night shifts, to ensure their safety.
  • The allowance is generally not applicable for unplanned instances such as working late or starting work early.
  • The amount varies from company to company. In most of the companies, the employees get Rs. 300 for night shift. In some companies, they get an additional Ra. 150 for food. Earning approx 450 per day is a good motivation for a fresher. As this amount is over and above the salary, so even experienced person tries for this. Jokingly, some employees call it semi-onsite as you have to work in the western time zone and you get a small share of per diem.
  • You might not be getting Night Shift Allowance (NSA) if you are working in a BPO

Process to claim NSA:

  • The Reporting Manager informs the associate that they will be scheduled for a night shift and submits the payroll advice within the stipulated date for processing.
  • The HR representative processes the input and sends the advice to the Finance Team for payment.
  • Additionally, the delivery director reviews and approves the advice submitted by the Reporting Manager for payroll processing
  • The benefits of the NSA policy are governed by the terms and conditions of employment in practice at the company. This is subject to change from time to time. The company reserves the right to amend its policies as necessitated. All statutory requirements are applicable as mandated by law.
  • All exceptions to the above is directed to the HR department.
  • Note that tax will also be deducted on this allowance.

Support a night employee:

Where we talk about this it’s not only organization responsibility towards employee but it’s the family responsibility too. A night workers needs support from both the fronts to live up his/her life easily. A night worker just needs the peaceful environment and a comfort zone during the day to take rest. Even after the required rest, a night shift employee may fall into several health issues.

Healthy tips for night shift:

Night shift throws the body "into chaos" and could cause long-term damage.

  1. Stick to your schedule: Even on days you don't work, continue to stay awake at night and sleep during the day. It's hard work to reprogram your system to do the opposite of what it's supposed to, and flipping to a conventional schedule can "wreak havoc" on the progresses you've made, Waters says. “Anytime you lose or break routine, you might be battling to retain it again."

  2. Have a option for rotation: When signing up for shifts, see if you can work a steady rotation for several weeks at a time instead of changing every week. This will help you create a more stable pattern and avoid changing your working, sleeping, and eating patterns multiple times a month.

  3. Get a nap whenever you can: An average person needs a sleep at least for 8 hours, so whenever you are free or get time it’s better to complete your sleep at that time.

  4. Select a good environment to sleep: The right environment helps the person to sleep for a longer time. Make your place as comfortable as possible by blocking out sunlight with blackout curtains or an eye mask to shade your eyes.

  5. Maintain proper eating schedule: Sleep deprivation disturbs your appetite, which leads to increased feelings of hunger and weight gain. Eat dinner before starting your shift, and snack every two to three hours during it to stay focused and energized. This way you won't be tempted to eat a heavy meal at the end of your shift. During the night shift, eat stuff which is easily digestible.

  6. Exercise: Have a habit of good exercise whenever you get up. Avoid being lazy at the day times. Try to make yourself aware of only those exercises which benefit you in a holistic way. Yes, I am talking about Yoga and Meditation. Yoga has several other benefits like

    • It improves the immune system and stimulates the endocrine glands
    • It helps prevent heart ailments, respiratory disorders, spinal problems and stress related disorders
    • It tones the muscles, helps burn excess calories and reduces overweight
    • It energizes and relaxes the body and rejuvenates and calms the mind
    • It oxygenates each and every cell of the body, makes one look young with a radiant skin

I think, after celebrating Yoga day, India should also celebrate “Night Shift” DAY (pun intended :-) and the employees should be given a day off (night and day), along with Night Shift Allowance. What do you say?

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Satyam Sinha answered| Jul 19, 2015

Night shift allowance should be increased