Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

10.00 26 Sep 2019


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Campaigners are calling for Ireland to join an international drive for a four-day working week.

The '4 Day Week Ireland' group says there are many benefits to working fewer days.

It suggests employees can be more productive when they have a greater work-life balance.

In the UK, the opposition Labour party committed at their recent conference to move towards "reducing the average working week to 32 hours within a decade".

Explaining the party's policy, shadow chancellor John McDonnell observed: “As society got richer, we could spend fewer hours at work.

"But in recent decades progress has stalled and since the 1980s the link between increasing productivity and expanding free time has been broken.

"It’s time to put that right."

Director of campaigning at Fórsa, Joe O'Connor, believes a shorter working week would allow people to enjoy their job.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, he argued: "The international research and evidence would show there's actually no correlation between working long hours and achieving greater productivity.

"If you look at some of the most productive countries in Europe - [like] Denmark and the Netherlands - they have on average shorter working hours.

"If you look at the least productive - [such as] the UK and Greece - they have longer hours and lower productivity."

Mr O'Connor added: "The benefits are you have a healthier, a happier and a more a focused workforce.

"What we're saying with this campaign is that we feel it's better for everyone.

"We think there needs to be a gradual, steady, managed transition to a shorter working week for all workers in the public and private sector - with no loss of pay or productivity."

You can listen to the full interview with Joe O'Connor below:

Campaigners call for Ireland to move towards four-day working week

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Main image: File photo. Picture by: John Stillwell/PA Wire/PA Images

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