The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition)

Four-day week put forward as policy to parties


Political parties are being urged to send a “very strong message” to businesses by including plans for a four-day working week in their election manifestos.

Advice Direct Scotland said there was already “strong public support” in Scotland for the policy.

With parties contesting the May 6 Holyrood election due to unveil their manifestos in the coming weeks, the organisati­on, which brought in a four-day working week for its own staff in 2018, urged political leaders to consider the policy.

And it stressed there are benefits for businesses as well as employees in making the change.

Advice Direct Scotland said absenteeis­m had fallen by more than 75% since it brought in a reduced working week.

It added that the four-day working week was now “well establishe­d” in countries like Norway and Denmark.

Meanwhile, a report last year found 70% backed a four-day week, with only 8% opposed or strongly opposed to the idea.

Andrew Bartlett, chief executive of Advice Direct Scotland, said: “The four-day week has been shown to work in the places where it has been tried and the idea has strong public support in Scotland.

“It is well establishe­d in productive and efficient economies like Norway and Denmark and looks set to be introduced in New Zealand too.”

He added: “This isn’t about businesses just giving staff a free day off each week. We know from our own experience that staff are far happier and more productive as a result of the four-day week, and that absenteeis­m has fallen significan­tly.”

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