Scottish Government urged to consider four day working week in response to Covid-19


THE Scottish Green Party has backed calls for a four day working week in Scotland in a move which it says would create new jobs and build a fairer recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

A letter addressed to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on the proposal was signed by the party and various trade unions.

It read, “The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown the world of work totally up in the air and there is now an opportunity to move away from the outdated and old ways of working. 2020 saw growing popularity and momentum for a four-day (32 hour) working week with no loss of pay and we know from history that shorter working hours are the best approach for spreading existing work more equally across the economy in times of economic recession.”

It continued by pointing to the Spanish Government’s announcement of a trial run of the four-day week concept, which could lead to the country being the first country to fully implement a four-day working week.

The letter concludes, “We believe that countries across the world must learn from the Spanish example and embrace shorter working hours in response to the Covid pandemic.”

Patrick Harvie, co-leader of the Scottish Green, added, “We need to rebuild an economy based on decent work, fair wages and economic security. Studies have repeatedly shown than switching to a four day week does not hinder productivity, but it would give people more time with their families and create new jobs.

“This policy was a key part of our proposals for a new deal for Scotland’s workers, so I’m pleased to be backing this call for Scotland to use it as a key part of the recovery. It should be implemented, taking care to ensure firms do not use it as an excuse to lower wages.”