Back in the sixties I had an idea which may have made it possible for people to work just over a three day week for the same salary.
I knew the “Church” would have been against it as it would end the seventh day of the week, but it seemed a good idea at the time.
It would have also sorted out the unemployment, and in those days it was always at least three million plus.
The idea was to have workers, in situ, seven days a week. This would have been done by hiring the same number of workers again, and splitting them into two teams, “A” and “B” and have them working three days on and three days off. Companies could then make the cost of their premises stretch over the full week, rather than just five days. Workers might even be willing to work a longer day if it meant three days off each week.
We would have to guard against unscrupulous people by making it illegal for anyone to work for their company on their three days break. Perhaps a £20,000 fine which would be given to the member of staff reporting the instance as he or she would surely lose their job!
The“A” and “B” teams would have to be the same in every company. Without fail. This would ensure two things. Firstly, that you would always have the same contacts you deal with in every company, all the time. So you couldn’t have people chopping and changing.
Secondly, if you love your spouse, you would make sure both were in the same “A” or “B” team so they would have their off time together. If you didn’t love your spouse you would make sure you were in the other team to your spouse!
But there could be another reason for being in different teams. You could always be available for your children as they were growing up, because there would always be an adult at home. And you could always go out with your spouse during the evenings. And you could always take holidays together.
There would be no weekends. Work and off days would fall on different days each week. This would help the entertainments industry and restaurants as their work load would be spread across the week, rather than always be just on weekends.
I never pursued the idea as I used to have fun just drawing up plans like that. I still do, and I probably won’t pursue it now!
I was once caned in front of the whole Afrikaans school when I devised a plan for sharing power with blacks in South Africa in 1953. But that’s another story – and it was a good plan.