Spain has announced that it will test a four-day work week and the government agreed to launch a pilot project for interested companies.
According to The Guardian, a small left-wing Spanish party, Más País, had announced on February 7 that the government had accepted its proposal to test the idea.
With the 4-day session (32h.) We have opened an authentic period debate. That always arouses controversy, because it opens a gap. What else is more important to politics than life time? pic.twitter.com/2WhWMEzTkc
– Íñigo Errejón (@ierrejon) February 6, 2021
The concept of a four-day work week has been tested by other countries in recent years, citing several advantages. In addition to improving work-life balance, researchers have suggested that a shorter workweek could increase overall job satisfaction while reducing stress, as Perpetual Guardian, a New York company, reportedly recorded. Zealand, in 2018. In 2019, Microsoft in Japan also reported a 40 percent increase in productivity, while saving on production costs.
Here are some countries that have advocated for four-day weeks:
In 2008, Utah state government employees began working Monday through Thursday for 10 hours, with the goal of reducing operating costs such as electricity, air conditioning and gasoline for state vehicles. It ended in 2011, when the Utah Legislature overturned Governor Gary Herbert’s veto of the five-day workweek legislation.
In 2020, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern suggested that employers consider a four-day work week and flexible work options to address work-life balance issues. In a Facebook video, he also spoke about how he could boost domestic tourism and therefore the economy.
“I hear a lot of people suggesting that we should have a four-day workweek … like I said, we’ve learned a lot about Covid and the flexibility of people working from home, the productivity that can be derived from that,” She was quoted saying.
In the same year, Germany’s largest union, IG Metall, representing 2.3 million employees in the metal and electrical sectors, reportedly proposed a change to a four-day workweek model in an attempt to securing jobs against economic fallout amid the coronavirus crisis and structural changes in the auto industry. Union leader Joerg Hofman had said that if companies agreed to cut working time, employees shouldn’t necessarily see their pay cut by the same amount or they couldn’t afford to work fewer hours. Meanwhile, it would allow companies to retain skilled workers and save layoff costs.
Sanna Marin, the 34-year-old politician who was named Finland’s prime minister in December 2019, had suggested a four-day workweek with six-hour workdays, even before she took office. “It is important to allow Finnish citizens to work less. It is not about governing with a feminine style but about offering help and keeping promises to voters, ”Marín was quoted as saying.
Finland already operates under the 1996 Working Hours pact which allows workers to adjust their working hours starting or completing three hours earlier or later.
Also in India, the government recently said it was considering flexible working hours for companies, reducing weekdays five or six to four. However, the 48-hour-per-week working hour limit would not be changed, Labor and Employment Secretary Apurva Chandra said, leading to longer working hours.