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Do MPs deserve Fridays off?

2nd July 2012

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Plans are being considered that may allow MPs to move to a four day week. Predictably (and understandably), the initial reaction of 99% of the population is likely to be, why should the people who run our country work a mere four days a week?

When I first heard this, I have to admit that I felt exactly the same. The majority of the country work at least five days a week, with millions working through the weekend. In fact, I don't know anyone with the luxury of a three day weekend. So why MPs? What makes them so much more eligable for this extra day off? And it's not as if it's a once a month thing; they'd be getting this every week. 

The reasoning behind it is that it would be time used better. MPs would use Fridays to visit constituencies, see their families and hold advice clinics for local voters. Again, I can understand the arguement against this. MPs have the whole weekend to see their families, just like the voters they represent. Their job is to speak with voters and visit constituencies, so why should they get another day off to do this?

But there is logic to this. MPs barely ever use Fridays as 'business' days anyway. Only on 13 Fridays a year does business really take place. So, does it make sense to scrap Friday altogether?

If you think about it, an MP does have a job that spans the whole week. They are always talking to voters or sorting out problems for their constituencies. Most of us have jobs that we can leave behind at five o clock, but they never just stop. Wherever they go they have to be setting an example for their potential voters. It's as if they don't get a weekend at all.

If this plan for Fridays 'off' was simply a free pass for a long weekend, I know I'd disagree. But no matter how much MPs frustrate and annoy us, they don't ever stop working. Even this extra 'day off' is to visit constituencies and hold advice clinics.

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