You know how that run of four-day weeks in May felt so much better than any other bit of lockdown? Well, hold on to that feeling. MPs are pushing for four-day weeks to become business as usual as we head into the New Normal.
The idea was put to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak in a letter signed by cross-party MPs including Mhairi Black from the SNP and the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas.
In it, the group write that a ‘four-day week would bring multiple benefits to society, the environment, our democracy, and our economy (through increased productivity)’. They argue that shorter working time has been used throughout history as a way to respond to economic crises and rising unemployment. They also say that it would be hugely beneficial for helping people recover their mental health. Previous studies have shown that shortening people’s working hours actually increases productivity, too.
The MPs write: ‘Three quarters of UK workers already supported a four-day working week before the coronavirus pandemic hit and millions of workers have now had a taste of working remotely and on different hours. It’s in no one’s interests to return back to the pressure and stress that people were under before this pandemic.’
The idea might sound radical but it isn’t unique to England. It’s also being considered as a New Normal move in Scotland and New Zealand, where it’s seen as a good way to boost internal tourism, too. Fingers crossed it happens.
In the meantime, make the most of your time off with our guide to what’s happening in London this weekend.
Or start planning some proper time off – holidays are officially back on in July.