Nicola Sturgeon announces four-day working week plans for Scotland in manifesto

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Ms Sturgeon pledged to pilot the new working week if she remained the Scottish First Minister after May’s election. However, the SNP added it would only happen if Scotland “gains full control of employment rights” from Westminster.

Today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said there are no “plans for a four day week” across England.

The SNP manifesto – which does not say when the four-day working week would be introduced – read: “COVID-19 changed the way we work almost overnight.

“As we recover from the pandemic, we want to do more to support people achieve a healthy work-life balance.

“We also want to keep the total number of people in employment high.

“We will use the learning from this to consider a more general shift to a four-day working week as and when Scotland gains full control of employment rights.

“We will also identify additional employment opportunities and assess the economic impact of moving to a four-day week.

“More widely, we will support a review – in partnership with trade unions and businesses – of how working practices could and should be adapted to meet the needs of the future economy.”

Four Day Week Campaign spokesman Joe Ryle, a former Labour aide under Jeremy Corbyn, welcomed the news from the SNP.

He said: “It’s fantastic to see the SNP laying the foundations for Scotland to move to a four-day working week.

“The four-day, 32 hour week with no reduction in pay is the policy we need coming out of the pandemic to create a better future where work is shared more equally across the economy and everyone benefits from a much healthier work-life balance.

“This announcement is great news for workers, great news for business and great news for the environment.”

However, many others took to social media to lash out at the SNP and Ms Sturgeon over the proposed plans.

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One person tweeted: “A four day week where you need to work one day at the weekend.

“Businesses will love this idea eh.

“SNP the incompetent part.”

Someone else said: “Surely this helps to increase the gap between lower and middle classes?

“Most working-class people can’t afford a four-day week.

“Nor will their employers (self-employed etc) close an extra day willingly.”

Another person tweeted this would “push Scotland towards recession” and said: “And who will pick up the gap left with this?

“Every economist worth their salt as said a 4 day week will lead to a large drop in earnings for the country and will push it towards recession.

“This is something @theSNP have wanted for years.”

Someone else welcomed the plans but asked for the budget claiming there are an “awful lot of giveaways coming from the SNP”.

Another person echoed: “So is the SNP Government going to pay everyone a day’s wage so they can afford to drop to four days, and pay employers so they can afford to replace the lost manpower?

“£10 million wouldn’t last a day.”

Mocking the SNP, someone else said: “People will need to work an eight-day week to be able to afford to live in a bankrupt independent Scotland.”

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