A shorter working week
Reducing the time we spend at work to provide more time for life
Winning shorter working hours without a loss in pay offers a way to tackle symptoms of overwork, providing people with more time to recuperate, participate in democratic process and fulfil caring responsibilities.
There is no natural law determining the amount of time we spend in work. History shows us that when people come together they can reduce the working week in order to provide more time for life – indeed that was how the weekend and the eight-hour day was won.
Today, arguments around reducing working time have come roaring back. Winning shorter working hours without a loss in pay offers a way to tackle symptoms of overwork, providing people with more time to recuperate, participate in democratic process and fulfil caring responsibilities.
Automation and climate change have injected the debate with a new urgency. Automation could and should bring gains for workers, as it can eliminate work that is dull and repetitive, as well as increase productivity. A well-planned transition would see all workers given the opportunity to shorten their working time without reducing their material quality of life.
We are pleased to be part of an alliance building a new consensus that more free time is an ambition to bake into the rules of the economy – working with trade unions, researchers and campaigners in the UK and across Europe.
We are grateful for support from the Communication Workers Union, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and European Network for a Fairer Sharing of Time.
Sign up for updates
Subscribe to receive updates on the campaign for a shorter working week.Sign up