PATRICK Harvie has insisted the only barrier to a four-day week being rolled out across Scotland is a culture of people willing to work on regardless – insisting it’s a “win-win” for workers and businesses.

The Scottish Greens co-leader has set out his proposals for a “new deal for Scotland’s workers” – placing employees’ rights at the centre of the strategy.

Mr Harvie, who addressed activists remotely at the Scottish Greens’ conference, has called on the Scottish Government to toughen up recognition of trade unions and halt “precarious” employment practices when awarding public contracts.

Mr Harvie said his proposal “reverses the erosion of rights” as well as “restores wages and the dignity of work", while putting “workers and unions centre stage in driving a transition to a zero-carbon economy and creating quality, unionised and well-paid green jobs.”

He added: “We know these changes face barriers at Westminster in particular with the Conservatives in charge and Labour once again reverting to centrism, which is why we need these powers either devolved to Scotland or Scotland to be independent so we can make these decisions ourselves."

He insisted that Scottish Government ministers need to do more to kickstart a shift to a four-day working week.

Mr Harvie said: “We need to be innovative and to push te boundaries so that we can go beyond encouragement and require trade union recognition, no use of tax havens or precarious employment practices and fair pay.

“The evidence shows time and time again that reducing working hours whilst maintaining pay increases productivity and wellbeing.”

He added: “It’s a win-win for workers and employers, and the only barrier to delivering it is habit, and in many workplaces a culture of presenteeism.

“For many, Covid is already forcing them to question this culture. Now is the time for us to deliver the change.”

Mr Harvie said that both the SNP in Edinburgh and the Conservatives in Westminster have allowed the “dismantling of the protection for workers”.

He added that other parties, including the SNP and the Tories share a “toxic belief” of "endless economic growth”.

Mr Harvie also pointed to an “industrial strategy for Scotland” that would “turn the “rhetoric about green industries and jobs into a reality”.

He added: “We know that government doesn’t have all the answers.

"Working in partnership, the Scottish Government, unions, employers, universities, scientisits and local government all need to come together and rise to the challenge of transition to a post-oil zero-carbon economy.

“The opportunities are there but as we’ve seen all too painfully this week, with the BiFab workers being failed by both governments, without urgent action and a long-term industrial strategy for Scotland, these opportunities will be missed.”