John McDonnell in talks with former Tory peer Lord Skidelsy over four-day week review
John McDonnell has approached a prominent economist and former Tory peer about launching a review into the feasibility of a four-day working week, according to reports.
The Shadow Chancellor has previously spoken out on the issue, telling the BBC’s Sunday Politics last month: “We will look at the working week because I think people are working too long.”
According to the FT, Mr McDonnell has been in talks with crossbench peer Lord Skidelsky about a possible inquiry into how the plan would work in practice.
He told the newspaper more details would be revealed in the “next couple of weeks”.
Lord Skidelsky added that the pair had discussed “the feasibility of a shorter working week” but that he had “nothing definite to say” yet on further plans.
In a recent interview, Mr McDonnell described the idea of a four-day week as “really interesting” and praised the unions for championing it.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady recently said: “I believe that in this century we can win a four-day working week.”
“The TUC have put it on everyone’s agenda,” Mr McDonnell said. “I’m interested in the TUC’s ideas, but I’ll be talking to others as well.”
A Labour spokesman said it was not party policy to back a shorter working week but refused to comment further.