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Welsh Conservatives attack plans for four-day working week trial

24 Jan 2023 3 minute read
Joel James. Picture by Senedd Cymru.

The Welsh Conservatives have attacked plans for a four-day working week to be trialled in Wales.

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Social Partnership, Joel James MS, claimed a curtailed working week would be “of no benefit to the hard-working Welsh families in the real world”

Mr James made the comments following the publication of the Senedd Petitions Committee’s report From Five to Four?: Support trials of a four-day week in Wales, published earlier today.

“Once again, Labour and their nationalist coalition partners have completely missed the mark and are focussing on all the wrong issues, the South Wales Central MS said.

“The proposed four-day working week has the very real danger of creating a two-tier society where private sector workers are left to pick up the slack left behind by the public sector. While this policy may appeal to the Cardiff Bay bubble, it would be of no benefit to the hard-working Welsh families in the real world.

“The people of Wales need Labour ministers to focus on reducing the record-breaking waiting times in the Welsh NHS, the only part of the UK to have growing child poverty and a housing crisis of Labour’s making – not reducing the working hours of civil servants.”

Wellbeing

Launching the report, Jack Sargeant MS, Chair of the Senedd Petitions Committee, told Nation.Cymru that people in Wales currently have some of the longest working hours in Europe.

He said Wales should lead the way in exploring a four-day working week and believes it could boost productivity, wellbeing and the economy.

“It is a bold proposal but no bolder than those campaigners who fought for a five-day week, paid holiday and sick pay which we now take for granted,” said Mr Sargeant.

“When we’re calling for a four-day week we’re (talking about) reducing the working hours within an organisation, but not a reduction in the rate of pay. There are a number of trials out there which suggests that productivity increases.

“As for staff morale – we can see the troubles of employees across the UK at the moment where morale is particularly low.”

After gathering evidence, the Senedd’s Petitions Committee recommends that the Welsh Government conducts pilots – within the devolved public sector.

Countries such as Iceland, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, New Zealand and Japan are already making serious moves towards trialling or introducing new working patterns.


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Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
15 days ago

Counter to Tory claims there has been a lot of evidence to back up a four day working week. It has been seen to actually increase productivity while also improving personal wellbeing in the studies conducted. Here is an Irish study – http://fourdayweek.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/4DayWeek.pdf – it is clearly in favour and lists all the benefits. The Tories only think (or should I say fear), of how it will affect the bottom line. Money first is their only concern.

Robert
Robert
15 days ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

You beat me to it. There have been several studies pointing to this being positive from different perspectives. The tories are just horrible, selfish and backwards people.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
15 days ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

Correct. There is to be no thinking outside their profit before people box.

Frank
Frank
15 days ago

Mmm, 4-day week? Where did I get the idea from that they only worked a few hours a week?

Huw Jones
Huw Jones
15 days ago

Once again the Welsh conservatives show that they have no ideas or fresh thinking. Their stance is one of constant negativity. Business and industrial representatives have generally supported the idea and piloting such a scheme. I have seen it work, for a business and for the employees. Vote Tory and return to the Victorian era.

David Charles pearn
David Charles pearn
12 days ago
Reply to  Huw Jones

Yes back to a 6 day week and 1 day off for the sabbath, don’t you just love these money mad tories.

Gareth
Gareth
15 days ago

We have to remember that the tory party opposed the creation of the NHS, and look how it has benefitted the whole population over a period of time. If a Tory opposes something, we need to analyse why, and as posted above, the benefits to workers can be life changing, just as proposed Tory changes to human rights and industrial relations laws will have a damaging effect on workers. We should be moving forward as a society, not back towards Dickensian workhouses.

lufcwls
lufcwls
15 days ago

Of course they would

NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
15 days ago

Great idea- lets reduce the hours that Nurses, Drs and all the NHS im sure this will help with the crisis in the NHS. Just because the Tories say its nonsense doesnt mean it is the right thing to do.

Gareth
Gareth
15 days ago

Yes let’s reduce the hours, along with stress levels, and high rates of sickness, and employ more doctors and nurses, which will benefit all concerned. And please dont ask where the money will come from, as £37 billion was found for a failed covid app, and over £110 billion so far has been found for HS2.

hdavies15
hdavies15
14 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

“…..employ more doctors and nurses, which will benefit all concerned. ” Surely you mean train them as they are not just readily available outside on the street. We’ve had decades of underperformance where governments have generated forecasts of resource levels to deliver service in anticipation of problems arising from ageing population and commissioning of new treatments. Yet the ability of Wales and wider UK to train professionals has slipped further behind. Pinching them from 3rd world countries does not do the job and only serves to highlight what a cynical shower we have in our governments.

Richard 1
Richard 1
15 days ago

Bog’s sake mate, look beyond the end of your nose. The tories are in plain sight dismantling the NHS.

David Charles pearn
David Charles pearn
12 days ago

Have you thought that not everyone will take the same days off 🤔.

dai ponty
dai ponty
15 days ago

The Tories would like people to go back to work like my Grandmother was working for some big wig up in London working 7days a week and a half day off every other Sunday god knows how many hours she worked in a day and treated like Dirt

Iago
Iago
15 days ago

A Tory says something and the hammers and sickles are out, but when a Welsh Labour MP is being investigated there’s silence. And then they wonder why politicians abuse their position.

Gareth
Gareth
15 days ago
Reply to  Iago

The MP who is being investigated, would that be Nadhim Zahawi, or Rishi Sunak, or Julian Knight all Tory. We can all name MPs under investigation, and this has nothing to do with the 4 day working week. You are trying to deflect here.

Rob
Rob
15 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

I think he means Chris Bryant, but to be honest I don’t think anyone hear would come to his defense.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
15 days ago
Reply to  Iago

If you think that “lobbying” on behalf of the British Council is even on the same planet as Tory corruption you need treatment.
The Labour MP you slander actually reported her own oversight, she didn’t lie about £5M theft and fraud.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
15 days ago

Are they still trying and failing to get Boris to do a four day working month?

Rob
Rob
15 days ago

If we get a 4 day week, I would rather take Monday off than Friday

Owen williams
Owen williams
15 days ago

welsh senedd again completely out of touch with how to grow the welsh economy

Rob
Rob
15 days ago
Reply to  Owen williams

No its the Welsh Labour Government that’s proposing this not the Senedd. Some Senedd members agree with you, hence the title of the article.

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
14 days ago

If the Tories had written the bible verse 9 of the book of Exocus would read “Seven days shalt thou labour…”.

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