Spain to launch trial of four-day working week
Spain could become one of the first countries in the world to trial the four-day working week after the government agreed to launch a modest pilot project for companies interested in the idea.
Earlier this year, the small leftwing Spanish party Más País announced that the government had accepted its proposal to test out the idea. Talks have since been held, with the next meeting expected to take place in the coming weeks.
From New Zealand to Germany, the idea has been steadily gaining ground globally. Hailed by its proponents as a means to increase productivity, improve the mental health of workers and fight climate change, the proposal has taken on new significance as the pandemic sharpens issues around wellbeing, burnout and work-life balance, The Guardian reported.
Leftwing parties in Spain – where a 44-day strike in Barcelona in 1919 resulted in the country becoming one of the first in western Europe to adopt the eight-hour workday – have seized on the idea.
While the exact details of the pilot will be hashed out with the government, his party has proposed a three-year, €50m project that would allow companies to trial reduced hours with minimal risk. The costs of a company’s foray into the four-day work week, for example, could be covered at 100% the first year, 50% the second year and 33% the third year.
Around 200 companies will participate in the project.