SNP to vote on backing four-day working week

Workers at the St James centre development. SNP delegates will debate a motion to back a four-day working week at next month's party conference
Workers at the St James centre development. SNP delegates will debate a motion to back a four-day working week at next month's party conference
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A vote may be held at next month’s SNP conference on whether Scotland should adopt a four-day working week.

Delagates will be asked whether to support the resolution brought forward by Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur and Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley.

The politicians want the shorter working week to be introduced to give people more family and leisure time, and to cut down on commuting hours to work.

READERS’ POLL: Should Scotland have a 4 day working week?



The motion has been added to the conference’s provisional agenda, with SNP delegates set to meet in Edinburgh across 27-28 April.
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The motion run in The National newspaper states: “Conference believes that technological change offers opportunities for new models of working, which can improve productivity and better reflect the needs of employers.

“Conference further believes that such flexibility could improve the physical and mental health of workers, as well as having a wider beneficial impact through reducing travel, increasing leisure time and providing flexibility for workers and their families.

“Conference calls on the Scottish Government to undertake a review into how working practices should be adapted to meet the needs of the future economy, including the possibility of a four-day working week, with a view to possible reform when Scotland gains control of employment rights.”

Charity Advice Direct Scotland last year became one Scottish organisation to adopt a four-day working week.

All 68 members of staff receive the same wages as they previously earned, while working fewer hours.

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Around 1.4 million people across Britain are estimated to be working seven days a week

Grahame Smith, general secretary of the Scottish Trade Union Congress, has previously said changes to the traditional five-day working week had already been successfully implemented in workplaces in Scotland, including Rosyth naval engineering dockyard and BAE Systems in Glasgow.

“We all need to have a different kind of conversation about what happens in the workplace,” he said.

“Some of the challenges we are facing – such as artificial intelligence and automation – are ones we’ve not had before.

“Moving to shortening working time may seem impractical but academic research shows it actually enhances the workplace environment and increases productivity.”