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Covid-19: Four-day Working Week

Volume 678: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2020

What assessment he has made of the potential merits of including a four-day working week as part of the Government's covid-19 recovery strategy. (904360)

The Prime Minister recently set out the first steps of the Government’s strategy to rebuild and fuel economic recovery in response to covid-19. The Government believe the best way to secure a recovery is to invest across the UK to level up, while ensuring that we create the conditions for private enterprise to flourish.

The Chancellor will have received a letter signed by Members from across the House, including myself, asking him to consider introducing a four-day working week as a way of helping the country recover and creating a better future post-covid-19. So will he commit to the Treasury exploring a four-day working week as part of its economic planning for the recovery? Will he also meet me and other Members to discuss how we can work together to make shorter working times a reality?

The Government believe that the best way of dealing with these issues is for workers to look at existing options available for flexible working and discuss them directly with their employers, rather than the Government legislating for the entire UK work- force. However, I am happy to meet the hon. Gentleman to discuss this topic further, if he would like.