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32-hour working week could ‘pile more pressure’ on stretched staff

Image: Garry Knight [Public domain], via Flickr 

Universities experts have told HE that Labour’s plan for a 32-hour working week could see staff working more unpaid hours and unable to fulfil students’ needs as it would be “near impossible” to maintain current contact hours.

Rachel Hewitt, policy officer for the Higher Education Policy Institute think tank, told HE that Labour’s proposal for a 32-hour working week could result in academics—who already work beyond their contracted hours—doing more unpaid work.

Hewitt said that McDonnell’s policy of a 32-hour working week “would face the challenge that many academics would say already exists within universities—that university staff already work many more hours than they are contracted to” and so could mean more unpaid work or working during leisure time.

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