Election 2017

Greens say four day week shouldn't lead to pay cuts

Jonathan Bartley

The Green Party says its proposals for phasing in a four day working week should not see people's wages cut.

But - to help businesses - the party says employers could receive National Insurance incentives.

Co-leader Jonathan Bartley claims the idea could also mean that British workers, who take some of the longest sick leave, become more productive.

He says Labour's idea of adding extra bank holidays on saints' days could be one way of phasing the policy in.

Mr Bartley says he hopes the Greens will double their numbers at the election on Thursday. Their only MP so far has been co-leader Caroline Lucas.

He told BBC2's Daily Politics his party's plans for a four-day week needed to be considered because automation was likely to result in "large amounts of job losses".

"At the same time we know we're getting stressed out in Britain - we work some of the longest hours in Europe," he said.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he would like to see four new UK-wide bank holidays created - one for each nation's patron saint day.

Normally, England and Wales have eight bank holidays a year, Scotland nine, and Northern Ireland 10. Labour says the average for G20 countries is 12.

Mr Bartley said building up the bank holidays would be one way of phasing in the four-day week.