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Fifty-three per cent of Canadians say shorter work week 'a good idea': poll

Last Updated Jun 26, 2020 at 4:53 pm PST

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Fifty-three per cent of adults think a shorter work week is a 'good idea,' 22 per cent think it's a 'bad idea'

Age, income, and political affiliation were all found to impact the level of support for the idea

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — More than half of Canadian adults support a shortened work week, according to a new poll that shows support of the idea has grown amid the pandemic.

Results released Friday show 53 per cent of adults think a four-day or 30 hour work week is a “good idea,” while only 22 per cent think it’s a “bad idea.”

Support for this idea has increased since 2018, and researchers suggest this is related to the economic effects of COVID-19.

“The increase in support is perhaps driven in part by the COVID-19 pandemic and difficulties it has presented for many out of work Canadians,” according to the Angus Reid Institute.


“While Bank of Canada officials predict a prolonged and bumpy’ path to recovery following the COVID-19 shutdown, one idea that has been proposed to help the country along is shortening the work week. The concept of a shorter week recently gained traction after New Zealand’s Prime Minister promoted the four-day work week as a way to boost domestic tourism as the country’s borders remained closed to international visitors.”

RELATED: Trudeau not ruling out idea of four-day work week to boost economy post-coronavirus

Age, income, and political affiliation were all found to impact the level of support for the idea.

Sixty-four per cent of low income households think the change would be a good idea. This drops to 47 per cent in households with income of $150,000 or more.

Six in ten young people, age 18 – 34 would support the shift to fewer hours.

Differences in opinion were also found along party lines.

“This idea runs into most of its opposition among past Conservative voters. This group is most likely to say that shortening the work week is an ill-conceived idea, 40 per cent feel this way, while past Liberal and NDP voters voice support at a proportion of two-thirds,” the institute writes in a release.