Introducing four day working week would be "huge step forward" for UK, claims journalist

31 August 2020, 11:09

By Seán Hickey

Implementing a four day working week in the UK would protect the jobs of some four million workers post-coronavirus, according to this journalist.

Contributing Editor of Novara Media Ash Sarkar told Andrew Castle that "if you took Britain's public sector workers and put them on a four day week without a loss of pay, it would represent about 1% of public spending."

She was speaking on the back of research that has made the case for a four day working week in the public sector. She told Andrew that the implementation of such policy would "create about half a million jobs," to fill in gaps left by the introduction of the four day working week.

Ms Sarkar also insisted that "because of the spread of those jobs, it would disproportionately benefit those red wall seats," which would help alleviate unemployment in these consituencies.

"This would represent a huge step forward that could be really beneficial to four million of the country's workers."

Ms Sarkar argued that a four day working week would protect the jobs of four million public sector workers
Ms Sarkar argued that a four day working week would protect the jobs of four million public sector workers. Picture: Video Screengrab

Andrew argued that "it's going to be quite difficult to convince the government that it's a good idea to keep paying the same amount of money out for 20% less work," given that the current government line is to bring people back to the office.

Ms Sarkar countered that "this represents an investment in people," adding that "you grow productivity not by making them work every hour God sends but by having a better work-life balance."

She branded the implementation of a four day working week a "net good for society," which would cost the "same amount of public spending as Rishi Sunak's job retention scheme."

The editor concluded that the implementation of the scheme would be "a way of bringing forward a much more long term benefit than something that's just going to get us through this crisis," such as the job retention scheme.

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