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MPs Have Proposed A Four-Day Working Week To Aid Post-Lockdown Recovery

By Jack Saddler June 23, 2020

Long weekends could be on the cards.

A cross-party group of MPs have proposed a four-day working week for Britain. They argue that, in the post-COVID-19 climate, the idea could be a “powerful tool to recover from this crisis”.

A small group—which includes Labour, Scottish National Party and Green Party MPs—has suggested that Chancellor Rishi Sunak set up a commission to explore the possibility. A committee looking at such matters has already been opened in Scotland. It is said that, if a four-day week were to be implemented, it would create more jobs as the nation faces economic difficulties.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, has previously spoken about a four-day week as a means of recovering the economy post-COVID-19.

The UK MP’s letter is signed by former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, SNP MP Mhairi Black and former Green Party leader and current MP Caroline Lucas. They explain that a four-day working week would see a decrease in stress, along with a boost in mental health, wellbeing and productivity.

“A four-day week would bring multiple benefits to society, the environment, our democracy, and our economy (through increased productivity),” it reads. “One of the biggest impacts would be better mental health and wellbeing across the board with more time available for socialising, family life and community.

“Furthermore, with an unemployment crisis on the horizon, shorter working time presents itself as one of the best options for fundamentally restructuring the economy so that work is shared more equally. A four-day week would give many more opportunities to the growing list of unemployed people which already stands at 2.8 million people.”

Last year, Labour pledged to deliver a four-day working week in the space of a decade if elected. John McDonnell spoke further, displaying a keen interest in exploring the idea of a 32-hour working week.

You can read letter proposing a four-day working week in full here.