Scotland to trial four-day work week with no loss of pay
Another country considers a flexible working scheme
The four-day working week might become a reality in Scotland, with the SNP pledging £10 million to help companies trial the initiative.
Research for the think tank Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) Scotland found that 80 per cent of people believed that cutting their number of days at work, with no loss of pay, would have a "positive effect on their wellbeing".
The survey, of 2,303 people aged between sixteen and sixty-five, also found that 88 per cent would be willing to take part in trial schemes. Two-thirds of the group believed a shorter working week would boost Scotland's productivity.
A Scottish Government spokesman said that the pandemic had intensified interest and support for more flexible working practices, "which could include a shift to a four-day working week".
"Reductions in the working week might help sustain more and better jobs, and enhance wellbeing," the spokesman added.
"We are in the early stages of designing a £10 million pilot that will help companies explore the benefits and costs of moving to a four-day working week. The pilot will allow us to develop a better understanding of the implications of a broader shift to a shorter working week across the economy."
Rachel Statham, a senior research fellow at IPPR Scotland, said: "The Scottish Government is right to be trialling a four-day working week because today's evidence shows that it is a policy with overwhelming public support, and could be a positive step towards building an economy hardwired for wellbeing.
"But any successful transition post-Covid-19 must include all kinds of workplaces, and all types of work. The full-time, nine-to-five office job is not how many people across Scotland work - and shorter working time trials need to reflect that reality.
"So we must examine what shorter working time looks like from the perspective of shift workers, those working excessive hours to make ends meet, or those who currently have fewer hours than they would like to have."
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