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Researchers Think That We Should Only Work Four Days Per Week

Tom Wood

| Last updated 

Researchers Think That We Should Only Work Four Days Per Week

Experts have suggest that we'd all be better off if we only worked for four days each week and had a higher minimum wage.

Whilst most of us would probably really like to work less hours each week, that isn't often such a convincing argument to make to your boss. Well, depending on what your job is.

Or is it? According to some researchers at the New Economics Foundation (NEF), the poorest people in the United Kingdom could be 13 per cent better off by the year 2030 if we adopt a four day working week and agree to a higher minimum wage.

Basically, here in the UK there is currently something of a productivity crisis taking place. In fact, for the past 10 years there has been only a small amount of labour productivity growth.

Ever find yourself feeling like this? Credit: PA
Ever find yourself feeling like this? Credit: PA

So, the researchers have devised a cunning plan to try to turn things around. Alfie Stirling, from the NEF told the Mirror: "The problems are deep and structural, ranging from high levels of inequality to an ageing population. The policy response needs to be equally transformative.

"Raising demand by growing the incomes of the poorest families, while giving people more time off to spend it, should be part of the mix of options that policy makers should be urgently looking at."

Simply working less hours might seem - well - counterproductive. However, it's not all about that. Some of it is to do with what people are actually doing whilst they are at work.

The study found that if we tried to shift to a four day week by 2030 and raise wages quicker, people will be better off. They suggest that raising the minimum wage to £19 per hour, as opposed to the current plan of £12 per hour would increase the wages and disposable income for the bottom 50 per cent of earners.

Those in the bottom 10 per cent will see their income rise by up to 26 per cent. Those in the top 10 per cent would be 8 per cent lower.

It sounds a bit fairer, right?

John McDonnell has suggested that the Labour Party might be on board. Credit: PA
John McDonnell has suggested that the Labour Party might be on board. Credit: PA

One of the main political parties to support such a plan could be the Labour Party. Last year, the shadow chancellor John McDonnell said his party might be on board as a way of getting workers to reap the benefits of more automation at work and advancement in technology.

McDonnell said: "We work the longest hours in Europe and yet we are less productive. The Germans and French produce in four days what we produce in five and yet we work the longest hours."

Trade unions are in favour of it, too.

Frances O'Grady of the TUC. Credit: PA
Frances O'Grady of the TUC. Credit: PA

Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) recently told their convention: "In the 19th century, unions campaigned for an eight-hour day. In the 20th century, we won the right to a two-day weekend and paid holidays.

"So, for the 21st century, let's lift our ambition again. I believe that in this century we can win a four-day working week, with decent pay for everyone. It's time to share the wealth from new technology, not allow those at the top to grab it for themselves."

The facts speak for themselves, too. Workers in Britain are currently £15 each week worse off on average that equivalent workers in 2007. On top of that, we'd all like an extra day off work, right?

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, News, Interesting, UK, Politics

Tom Wood
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