Time for life: why a four-day, 30-hour working week can create a stronger economy, a more equal society and greater life satisfaction for everybody

Document type
Kane, Pat; Lindsay, Isobel; Wales, Gillian
Jimmy Reid Foundation
Date of publication
1 April 2014
Social welfare
Material type

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In Britain workers work among the longest hours in Europe, which has many damaging effects. The economic impacts of overwork include diminished productivity, absenteeism and a knock-on cost for welfare. The social impacts of overwork include adverse effects on family life, poorer quality of service for customers from exhausted staff, a damaging emphasis on constant consumption, a low level of civic participation and problems of gender inequality. The psychological impacts of overwork include stress, ill-health and low levels of happiness. This report shows that there is the capacity through reducing working hours to around 30 a week to create sufficient new jobs to achieve full employment. This can be done through a ten-year transition process.

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