Four-day week in the public sector

The government controls working conditions for public service workers, so I assume that employment law (which is not currently devolved) does not prevent the introduction of a four-day week in the public sector. The public sector could also be proactive in the sense that subcontracting-out work could be conditional on the subcontractor complying with public sector working practices, terms and conditions. Under a green new deal, for example, there might be an expansion in public sector employment. The public sector could choose to offer a variety of work patterns, which along with highly skilled meaningful jobs would influence the private sector to improve its working practices - or risk losing employees seeking a better work-life balance to the public sector. Over the last 40 years or so, a mistaken belief has developed that the public sector mainly provides low skilled jobs, and only the private sector should provide highly skilled jobs and services. The public sector needs to reverse this by developing further expertise in house to provide quality public services (e.g. NHS, Education, Public Transport, Public Utilities, Infrastructure, etcetera) and to be able to negotiate contracts from a position of strength / knowledge. The four-day week could be included for such jobs, which would again incentivise the private sector who would have to compete for high-skilled labour.

Why the contribution is important

I think this idea is important because it increases the scope of introducing the four-day week, and avoids the constraints of employment law.

by GSGordon42 on September 02, 2021 at 02:31PM

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