Sir Christopher Chope says four-day working week would be like a 'hand grenade being thrown into the economy'

Labour MP Peter Dowd speaking to the Commons said it is “time for change” as he put forward the case for a shorter working week.

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Sir Christopher Chope has said proposals for a four-day working week would be like a "hand grenade being thrown into the economy".

Proposals to effectively bring forward a four-day working week have cleared their first parliamentary hurdle.

Labour MP Peter Dowd speaking to the Commons said it is “time for change” as he put forward the case for a shorter working week.

He insisted it would be good for the economy, the workers and the environment.

The plans would reduce the official working week hours from 48 to 32.

Labour MP Peter Dowd speaking to the Commons said it is “time for change” as he put forward the case for a shorter working week.
Labour MP Peter Dowd speaking to the Commons said it is “time for change” as he put forward the case for a shorter working week.

Working beyond these hours would result in employers paying staff 1.5 times their normal rate of pay.

Conservative former minister Sir Christopher Chope warned the bill would be “very hotly opposed by everybody on this side”.

The Bill will be considered further at second reading on Friday December 9 2022.

Mr Dowd cited Health and Safety Executive, saying 18 million workdays were lost between 2019 and 2020 due to “work related stress, depression, or anxiety”.

He also shared the findings of a World Health Organisation report, which has shown that “long working hours are killing hundreds of thousands of people globally every year”.

He said: “It’s time for change. The arguments made against the four-day working week today are exactly the same arguments that were made against the five-day week 100 years ago.

“I’m afraid the evidence just doesn’t back it up.

“All the evidence shows a four-day week with no loss of pay would be good for the economy, good for workers and good for the environment.”

Conservative former minister Sir Christopher Chope warned the bill would be “very hotly opposed by everybody on this side”.
Conservative former minister Sir Christopher Chope warned the bill would be “very hotly opposed by everybody on this side”.

Sir Christopher, the MP for Christchurch, put on record his opposition, saying: “So, effectively what he’s saying is that everybody who is currently working more than 32 hours a week will be prevented from so doing in the future under the provisions of his Bill.

“And if ever, one could think of a hand grenade being thrown into the economy, that is probably a really good example of it.”

Sir Christopher insisted everybody should have “the right to bring in whatever Bill they want to” but added: “I think it’s important in a Ten Minute Rule Bill debate to put on record, that were such a Bill to be drafted and brought forward for debate by the honourable gentleman then it would be very hotly opposed by everybody on this side.”

The Bill is unlikely to make further progress without Government support due to a lack of parliamentary time to debate all private members’ bills tabled by backbench MPs.

Taking to Twitter later in the day, Mr Dowd said: "A Four Day working week has history behind it along side paid holidays, equal pay, the minimum wage, maternity/paternity and other advances in working conditions. It’s time for change."