Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell is spearheading a movement in the British Labour Party to reduce the average full-time working week to 32 hours for the entire country while ensuring no loss of pay within the next decade.
During his speech at the party’s annual conference held in Brighton, McDonnell expressed a goal to push for a four-day workweek as well as a Working Time Commission with the power to increase statutory annual leave entitlements as soon as possible without an increase in unemployment.
In recent years as technology advances and communities think of ways to do things quicker and work smarter rather than harder, the idea of a gradually shorter workweek is one that is being consistently considered.
Living in a modern society means doing things in a modern way and one of the biggest campaigns across the globe is that of the four day week.
A flood of books calling for shorter workweeks have made their way onto shelves around the world. Almost every week in the UK, a new company announces either trialling or implementing a shorter workweek.
As society advances more people are realizing that the Monday-to-Friday workweek mentality is something that our generation has simply inherited over the years. In actual fact it is nothing but an outdated historical construct.
Last year a firm in New Zealand by the name of Perpetual Guardian, trialled a four day workweek and saw an increase in productivity and an overall reduction in the stress employees were experiencing. Staff members were given a month to relook their working habits and ensure they could adapt to the shorter week. The company CEO immediately recommended that the shorter workweek be permanently implemented following the successful trial.
With the pressure working individuals face on a day-to-day basis in our current society it is a wonder South African government or independent companies have not considered a move towards a shorter workweek.