A Scottish Four Day Week: initial costings for implementation in the public sector

December 3 2020

At a glance:

  • A four day week in the Scottish public sector would cost between £1.4bn and £2bn.

 

  • This constitutes 3% of the public sector pay bill in Scotland (and 2% of Scottish public spending overall).

 

  • These figures do not take into account the reduced costs to the healthcare system that having a healthier workforce would bring.

 

  • Such a scheme would create between 45,000 and 59,000 new job opportunities in the sector.

 

  • Scotland has a high rate of public sector employment when compared to the rest of the UK. 

 

  • A four day week in the Scottish public sector would be a high-impact, low cost policy that could pioneer better work-life balance for workers across the UK.

Our interactive map shows those areas with the highest rates of public sector employment. Scotland has amongst the highest rate of public sector employment in the UK:


Enable zoom

Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (2020)

Authors:

 

Rob Calvert Jump

Will Stronge

Comments:

Will Stronge, Director of Research at Autonomy, said:

 

“A four-day week in the Scottish public sector would be a high-impact, low cost policy that could pioneer better work-life balance for workers across Scotland.

 

“At a very small fraction of the overall public sector pay bill, the move to a four-day week represents good value for money when considered alongside all of the benefits to workers and their employers.”

This research was supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation London and the Guerilla Foundation.