Fewer working hours could improve wellbeing and the economy

Anna Coote, Nef’s head of social policy, believes that if larger charities moved to four day weeks they would be rewarded with “a more rounded and balanced workforce, less prone to absenteeism and sickness, and more productive hour-for-hour.”

Not only that, says Coote, but it “has benefits for society, the environment and the economy … freeing up employment time for people who haven’t got jobs, redistributing paid work more equally.”

Which sounds great. But is it realistic for a charity sector already strapped for time and cash?

“I’m not sure it is realistic,” says Angela Beerman, HR director at Plan UK, the children’s rights charity. “It’s not the highest paid sector … people need to work full time so that they’ve got enough to live on”. Equally she questions how sponsors or donors would respond: “Most expect that people working for us believe in the charity, have some passion and are prepared to give a bit more.”