Introduction of a 35 Hour Week Across the NHS

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2005 Health Care Service Group Conference
21 April 2005

Conference for many years, we have debated the 35-hour week acaross our Health Service. UNISON believes all NHS workers should have a right to work that does not damage their health and have freedom to pursue activities arranging work more effectively.

Reasons for the 35-hour week are as follows:

·To achieve a work-life balance;

·To bring working hours into line with our European partners;

·To alleviate the stress staff have to endure within the NHS.


We call upon the Service Group Executive and the NHS Staff Council to actively campaign for the introduction of a 35-hour week and to implement the proposals outlined in Motion 11 agreed by Health Conference 2004 with regard to the 35-hour week campaign, which include:

·Submitting pay claims which include a move to a 35 hour weekk without loss of pay;

·Producing materials for members and the public setting out the case for a 35 hour week, inlcuding an explanation of what ‘without loss of pay’ means, especially for workers who usually calculate their pay by an hourly rate;

·Producing information to address the management side’s likely response that any decrease in hours must either be paid within existing budgets and/or matched by increased productivity, including an estimate of the extra funding which would be necessary to decrease hours without such budgetary contraints, and linking the campaign to the “Improving Working Lives” programme;

·Urging Regional Health Committees to hold discussions about the campaign for a 35 hour week;

·Urging Branches to hold meetings with members to discuss the campaign for a 35-hour week.