Coronavirus UK: Two-thirds of public back four-day working week

EXCLUSIVE: Two-thirds of the public want Boris Johnson to look at attracting a four-day working week after coronavirus crisis

  • Poll by Survation found two thirds want ministers to look at four day work week
  • Survey found 29 per cent strongly support it and 33 per cent significantly support
  • Seven per cent significantly oppose four day week, six percent strongly oppose

Almost two thirds of the British public want Boris Johnson to explore the chance of introducing a four-day working week after the coronavirus crisis. 

A new poll conducted by Survation found that 29 per cent of people strongly support ministers looking at the problem while 33 per cent significantly support it – net support of 62 percent. 

Meanwhile, just six per cent of people said they were strongly opposed to the theory and seven per cent were somewhat in opposition to it.

Campaigners believe the coronavirus outbreak and the accompanying nationwide lockdown which has seen many people working from home should kickstart a debate in regards to the way in which people do their jobs. 

The Survation survey suggests there is overwhelming support for a reduced working week. 

A Survation poll found very nearly two thirds of individuals are in favour of ministers exploring the chance of a four day working week

The poll of 2,003 people which took place between June 24-25 was commissioned by the think tank Autonomy. 

People were asked: ‘To what extent would you support or oppose the government exploring the introduction of a four day working week?’

The poll suggests many workers would be in favour of a reduced working week without reduction in pay after the Covid-19 crisis. 

As well as the broad overwhelming support for the move, the survey also found that some 57 percent of individuals who voted Conservative at the 2019 General Election would support ministers exploring if the change can be done. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has faced calls from campaigners, economists and academics to set up a commission to look at the issue. 

Will Stronge, director of research for Autonomy, said: ‘The research demonstrates a shorter working week is effective to the surroundings, to our well-being and to staff performance in businesses. It’s a “multi-dividend” policy.

‘The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the inadequacies of our labour market and contains hit those on low incomes in stressful, key worker jobs hardest. 

‘A fairer, post-Covid economy that benefits workers could be the right action to take and shorter working hours with no decrease in pay ought to be part of that.’

Joe Ryle, a campaigner with the Four Day Week Campaign, said: ‘The four-day week is an indisputable fact that is gaining momentum around the globe right now because people are reimagining a better future for themselves post COVID-19.

‘A four-day working week is just a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t we should be happier, healthier and at the same time – more productive at work?’  

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