The Welsh Conservatives have said that the four day working week could create a 'two tier' system of work because it could not be rolled out in all sectors.

Joel James MS, shadow minister for social partnership, said: "The major problem of the four-day working week is that it cannot be rolled out across every sector, meaning that it will create a two-tier working environment, with office-based public sector workers obtaining a privilege that cannot be enjoyed by most private sector workers and many frontline public sector workers."

His comments follow recent findings by a working group examining the potential for a four-day week.

Mr. James highlighted a key issue with the proposal: "By introducing a four-day working week the Labour Welsh Government would effectively be reducing the hours worked by the public sector for the same pay.

"This is not the same as many four-day working trials in the private sector that have simply allowed workers to work the same hours over four days instead of five days."

The working group, appointed by the Welsh Government, had spent a year studying the pros and cons of a four-day working week.

The concept has already been trialled by some UK companies and in Scotland.

The group was specifically investigating a four-day work week with no loss of pay, and a 20 per cent drop in normal contracted hours.

Benefits including improved work-life balance, lower risk of burnout, increased productivity, and better organisational performance were highlighted.

Despite these potential positive impacts, they also identified risks.

These ranged from widening existing disparities between office and frontline workers, to potential issues with service provision and maintaining 24/7 operations without increasing staff numbers.

Financial implications, potential problems managing shifts, and potential increase in undeclared working hours were also noted.

The Welsh Conservatives propose alternative approaches to obtain a work-life balance, thus benefiting workers' mental health and job satisfaction.

Mr. James stated, "The Welsh Conservatives propose that the same benefits of a four-day working week can be obtained by improving the flexibility workers to take time off to balance family life and other commitments."