By Mark L Thomas
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Issue 393

Professor John Aston, president of the UK Faculty of Public Health which represents 3,300 public health experts working in the NHS, local government and academia, has called for the end of the five day week.

Ashton argues that a four-day week would reduce high levels of work-related stress, allow people to people spend more time with their families and reduce ill health. It would also lower unemployment. Ashton says there is “a maldistribution of work” and it is damaging many people’s health.

“We should be moving towards a four-day week because the problem we have in the world of work is you’ve got a proportion of the population who are working too hard and a proportion that haven’t got jobs.”

“My concern is that too many people are working too long hours and too hard, and too many people aren’t working at all. A large number of people are working crazy hours and a significant amount of people can’t get work.”

Workers in Britain work some of the longest hours in Europe. A survey in 2011 found that full time workers in Britain work an average of 42.7 hours per week, with only Greek and Austrian workers working longer hours in the EU.

There are also record numbers of part time workers who want to work more hours to pay their bill and 2.16 million are officially out of work.

The insanity of capitalism means that millions are overworked while millions are also either underemployed or left on the dole.

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