Labour has said it could introduce a 32-hour full-time working week, with no loss of pay, within 10 years. But the Conservatives have attacked the plan, saying it would “cripple the NHS”.

So what exactly is Labour’s policy and is the criticism justified?

What is Labour proposing?

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell initially set out the shorter working week policy at the Labour Party conference in September:

“The next Labour government will put in place the changes needed to reduce average full-time hours to 32 a week within the next decade,” he said.

In the accompanying press release, the party said trade unions would be at the heart of negotiating working pattern changes, eventually leading to a series of legally-binding agreements for different sectors of the economy.

Reductions in working time would

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