Plaid Cymru will lead a debate in the Senedd later today, calling on the Government to adopt a four-day working week pilot in Wales.

The party has called for a radical new approach to the way Wales works that would increase workers’ free time, while at the same time "future-proofing" the economy.

Luke Fletcher, the party’s economy spokesperson, has said a four-day working week could improve worker wellbeing, reduce the carbon footprint due to fewer commutes, and would create opportunities to free up people for volunteering and contributing to their communities.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Mr Fletcher said: "A four day week would have four-fold benefits, it’s good for well-being, it’s good for the economy, it’s good for the environment and it’s good for our communities.

“Covid-19 has changed our work practices and shone a light on the inequalities in our society, not least that the burden of unpaid work falls most heavily on women.

"Freeing up an extra non-working day could help shift the balance, and also creates the opportunities for people to engage more in their local communities.

"Perhaps equally compelling is it would instantly reduce our carbon footprint, from one less day spent commuting to work."

READ MORE: How could a four day week benefit Wales?

A four-day working week pilot has already been trialled in Iceland, while trials are being planned in Scotland, Spain and Ireland.

A pilot is also supported by Labour MS Jack Sargeant and a number of individuals and organisations across Wales.

Mr Fletcher has also pointed to the growing threat of automation which many fear will create mass redundancies.

"Ever lurking in the background is the dual-threat and promise of automation – the chance to free workers from the grind of long hours, set against the fear of mass redundancies as people are replaced by machines", he continued.

"A four-day working week could future proof the Welsh economy, as long as the productivity gains from advances in automation, and the time saved by workers, is shared across our society.

"If we are to future-proof the Welsh economy, we need innovative and forward thinking policy solutions, and Plaid Cymru’s proposal for a four day week could see Wales lead the world in a cultural paradigm shift that could bring benefits to all."

The debate is scheduled for this afternoon, but a number of amendments have been laid down. 

Among them, Government minister Leslie Griffiths has instead advocated for "considering the progress that is made through pilots in other countries and examine the lessons Wales can learn".

Meanwhile, the Tories' Darren Millar has called for working arrangements to be "agreed between employers and employees", adding "no workers or employers should be forced to adopt a four-day working week".

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