How to Win a Shorter Working Week

Discussion on winning a shorter working week with John McDonnell

There is no natural law determining the amount of time we spend in work. The weekend and the eight-hour day were won by trade unions — and today, arguments for shortening the working week are growing stronger.

Automation and prospects for a rebooted Green New Deal have injected the debate with a new urgency.

Automation could and should bring gains for workers, eliminating work that can be experienced as dull and repetitive, as well as increasing productivity. A well-planned transition would see all workers shorten their working time without reducing their material quality of life: providing more time to recuperate, participate in democratic process and fulfil caring responsibilities.

How can we transition to a shorter working week that benefits workers and the economy? What forces are coming together to make it a reality?

NEF invites you to the launch of our new programme working with unions and businesses to achieve a shorter working week in the UK. 


  • John McDonnell MP — Shadow Chancellor
  • Miatta Fahnbulleh — CEO, New Economics Foundation
  • Sharon Graham — Unite Executive Officer
  • Ian Waddell — General Secretary of CSEU
  • Amie Sparrow — Memiah Ltd, a wellbeing and health communications company trialling a 4 day week with its 30+ employees

This will be part of a series of events on work organised by NEF in collaboration with Tribune Magazine. 

Free tickets available but spaces are limited — register here

Image: Jazael Melgoza on Unsplash

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