John McDonnell in talks with former Tory peer Lord Skidelsy over four-day week review

Posted On: 
9th November 2018

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.

John McDonnell has reportedly approched economist Lord Skidelsky over plans to look into a four-day working week

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.

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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.