SNP conference delegates may be asked to back a policy proposal next month for the full time working week to be cut to four days.

A resolution put down by Tom Arthur MSP and MP Angela Crawley calls for the reform, saying a shorter working week would give people more family and leisure time as well less time travelling to and from work.

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The motion, which appears on the conference’s provisional agenda, also argues that employers could benefit as a result of increased workers’ productivity and improvements in staff’s mental and physical health.

“Conference believes that technological change offers opportunities for new models of working which can improve productivity and better reflect the needs of employers. Conference further believes that such flexibility could improve the physical and mental health of workers, as well as having a wider beneficial impact through reducing travel, increasing leisure time and providing flexibility for workers and their families,” the resolution states.

The National: SNP MSP Tom ArthurSNP MSP Tom Arthur

“Conference calls on the Scottish Government to undertake a review into how working practices should be adapted to meet the needs of the future economy, including the possibility of a four-day working week, with a view to possible reform when Scotland gains control of employment rights.”

Last September, Frances O’Grady, head of the Trades Union Congress, said a four-day working week is achievable this century. She used the TUC’s 150th Congress to call for new technology, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, to pave the way for a shorter working week and higher pay.

She said: “In the nineteenth century, unions campaigned for an eight-hour day. In the twentieth century, we won the right to a two-day weekend and paid holidays. So, for the twenty-first century, let’s lift our ambition again.

“I believe that in this century we can win a four-day working week, with decent pay for everyone. It’s time to share the wealth from new technology. Not allow those at the top to grab it for themselves.”

Full time workers in the UK put in some of the longest hours in the EU, behind only Austria and Greece. Some 1.4 million people now work a seven day week in Britain, according to the TUC, with 3.3 million people working more than 45 hours a week.

With new technologies estimated to boost GDP by at least £200bn in the next decade, the TUC said the UK Government must act now to make sure workers share in these gains by raising living standards and giving them more control at work.

There are a handful of companies in the UK already offering their staff the option to work four-day weeks. In June, Gloucester-based agency, Radioactive PR, began a six-week test of a Monday to Thursday working week, with staff salaries staying the same.

Founder Rich Leigh said in September: “Technology was supposed to give us a better work-life balance. If anything, it’s made it worse. In a broader context, I think that getting rewarded for being good at your job has been replaced by a culture that celebrates being wedded to your job, above all else. Presenteeism is good for nothing and nobody. How do you get happy clients? Great work. How do you get great work? A happy team.” Leigh later made the decision to make the four-day week permanent earlier this month.

“From a staff perspective, the improvement in work/life balance has been amazing to see, and productivity has ultimately increased,” he said. “Time off work leads to more creative thinking”.

Amendments to resolutions can be submitted by March 29, with the final agenda published next month ahead of the SNP conference in Edinburgh on April 27 and 28.