Scots more supportive of four day week than rest of Britain

Scots are more supportive of the introduction of a four-day working week than the rest of Britain, according to new polling.

A four-day working week is supported by Scots
A four-day working week is supported by Scots

The Survation survey found 70% of people north of the border back the more flexible working approach compared with 63% across the UK on average. The Scottish figure is higher than England and Wales, although lower than the 75% in Northern Ireland, according to the poll of more than 2000 UK adults commissioned by the Autonomy think tank.

Nicola Sturgeon has urged employers to consider moving to a four-day week as part of the post-lockdown economy, while a cross-party group of MPs from Labour, SNP, Plaid Cymru, the SDLP and the Green Party recently signed an Early Day Motion calling on the UK Government to set up a commission to consider the proposal.

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The Glasgow-based charity Advice Direct Scotland, which runs Scotland’s national advice service, introduced a four-day working week for all staff in 2018. All 90 members of staff receive the same wages, while working fewer hours.

Andrew Bartlett, chief executive of Advice Direct Scotland, said: “We are a people-first organisation, and we’re always exploring ways to improve the work-life balance.

“In 2018 we became one of the first major organisations in Scotland to introduce a four-day working week, recognising the positive difference this would make.

“This has undoubtedly led to greater productivity and positivity among employees, and we particularly encourage staff to share stories about the activities they enjoyed on their extra day off.

Will Stronge, director of research for the Autonomy think tank which commissioned the poll, described the four day week as a "multi-dividend policy."

He said: “The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the inadequacies of our labour market and has hit those on low incomes in stressful, key worker jobs hardest.

“A fairer, post-COVID economy that benefits workers is the right thing to do and shorter working hours with no reduction in pay should be part of that.”

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