Thousands of employees across 70 companies in Britain started the first day of a four-day week on Monday with no reduction in pay.

Juliet Schor, a sociology professor at Boston College and the lead researcher on the project, will be analysing “how employees respond to having an extra day off, in terms of stress and burnout, job and life satisfaction, health, sleep, energy use, travel and many other aspects of life.”

The program follows similar efforts in other countries, including Iceland, New Zealand, Scotland and the US. There, companies have embraced greater flexibility in work hours as more people worked remotely and adjusted their schedules during the pandemic.

The six-month trial was organised by non-profit groups 4 Day Week Global and 4 Day Week UK Campaign, and Autonomy, an organisation that studies the impact of labour on wellbeing.

Apparently it’s the largest such trial of its kind in the world with researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College assessing its effect on productivity and quality of life with results due to be announced next year.

Source: Financial Review, and The New York Times.


The association between deaths from asbestos-related diseases  – such as mesothelioma and asbestosis – and historical asbestos use, continues to be clear and unequivocable, according to a recent epidemiological study in the latest issue of Environmental Health Perspectives ( 

The study, carried out by researchers at Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI) and collaborators, uses the latest available deaths data from the World Health Organization (WHO) for the period 2010-2014 and historical asbestos consumption for the period 1970-1980. The authors updated the highly-referenced study of 2007 with data originating from the maximum range of countries worldwide – both developed and developing.

Ken Takahashi, Man Lee Yuen and Matthew Soeberg (ADRI) and collaborators investigated the ecological association between mortality rates in 71 countries from diseases associated with asbestos and historical asbestos consumption 

Whilst some countries have implemented asbestos bans, many countries still have not. The authors conclude based on the new mortality and consumption data used in this study that asbestos bans are warranted in those countries continuing to use asbestos. We hope that the findings from this study will be used by policy makers to further reinforce the importance of asbestos bans.

The Asbestos Diseases Reserach Institute is recognised globally for its asbestos diseases research work. In 2021 it was designated by the World Health Organization as the Collaborating Centre for Elimination of Asbestos Related Disease across Developing Countries.

Source: AAP

More information on Asbestos: In the workplace and In the Home.  


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