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Coronavirus may force firms may have to consider split three-day week: report

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Chief executive of the RSA Matthew Taylor. (Ian West/PA)

Chief executive of the RSA Matthew Taylor. (Ian West/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Chief executive of the RSA Matthew Taylor. (Ian West/PA)

A split three-day week should be considered as part of the economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, with workers separated into two different teams, a report said.

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) is suggesting that firms arrange "A teams" and "B teams", typically working Monday to Wednesday or Thursday to Saturday, based on a similar arrangement in South Korea.

This would help enable social distancing at work and ease congestion on the roads, cycling infrastructure and public transport, said its report.

Employees would then have greater choice to combine work with caring, learning, or volunteering and lead to a future of more flexible work for both employers and employees, said the RSA, which is an independent charity.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA, said: "The crisis can be an opportunity for positive change.

"We need to get back to work, but there is no going back to normal, even if we wanted to.

"We are calling for a 12-month 'back to work' strategy to help businesses plan, must contain the seeds of a better future -which creates a better future of work, builds our green infrastructure, and brings citizens and experts closer.

"Over time, the 'team a' and 'team b' working could develop into a more permanent three-day week, while the negative income tax could become a basic income floor for citizens."

Belfast Telegraph