A panel discussing the Four day week

The Green Party of England and Wales has formally backed a four day working week for the first time. Members of the party voted to support the policy at their autumn conference in Brighton.

Previously, leading Greens had given warm support for the principle of a four day week, but it did not formally sit in the party’s policy book.

Following the motion, the party has endorsed moving towards a 32 hour working week in the medium term. According to the party’s new policy, workers would have a ‘right to request these reduced hours at no loss of pay and without detriment’.

The motion was overwhelmingly passed by members at the conference.

Speaking after the motion passed, the party’ work spokesperson Catherine Rowett said: “The UK has one of the highest working hours rates in Europe while having one of the least productive economies. The Green Party has today backed a policy of introducing a maximum 32 hour working week where workers have a right to request these reduced hours be worked over four rather than five days at no loss of pay. 

“A recent trial of a four-day week with a range of organisations from diverse sectors and sizes found that of the 61 companies that participated, 56 are continuing with the four-day week, with 18 confirming the policy is a permanent change.

“The trial found there was an improvement in employees’ well-being, an improvement in work-life balance and an increased ability to combine paid work with care responsibilities. For the businesses involved in the trial, revenue stayed broadly the same over the trial period while the number of staff leaving decreased significantly, dropping by 57% over the trial period.

“The evidence is clear. A four-day working week is good for business, good for workers, good for the climate because people will have to commute less, and it is now confirmed as Green Party policy.” 

PS. We hope you enjoyed this article. Bright Green has got big plans for the future to publish many more articles like this. You can help make that happen. Please donate to Bright Green now.

This article is jointly published with Left Foot Forward

Image credit: Francesc Fort – Creative Commons