A permanent public holiday, you say? Tell us more.
Five days. 40 hours. Sometimes (well, often actually) it can get on top of the best of us. We tend to find ourselves feeling that if the working week was reduced just that tiny bit, we might even end up being more productive, despite the decrease in hours.
Well, it seems that feeling is is a common one across the world. Last year, Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland, called for a four-day working week with six-hour days; and a group of Labour MPs in London even called for a similar action in the UK to ease the effects of post-lockdown working life. Earlier this year, Spain also began a four-day working week trial, which is currently still underway.
Now, Ireland has decided to join the party. For a trial, that is. Throughout the next six months, beginning today (June 22), a campaign led by Four Day Week Ireland gets underway to test the effectiveness of fewer working days in the week.
The group says that the four day week would boost work/life balance in companies and lead to more efficient work. Employees partaking in the scheme will receive the same pay, and companies are being supported financially and mentored through the trial. A number of businesses have signed up for the trial which lasts for six months.
Four Day Week Ireland said: “Our medium term objective is to move towards the four day week being the standard work arrangement across the economy, with no loss of pay. As with the five day week today, it will not be the only work arrangement – For some sectors, employments and workers, different variances of reduced working hours and a shorter working week will need to co-exist alongside the benchmark of the four day week.
“We do not mean that everyone will have a ‘three day weekend’ – Strong management and clever rostering will need to ensure that businesses and public services can function for 5 or in some cases even 7 days, alongside a shorter working week for all workers.”
So, if the trial proves successful, would you be in favour of this become normalised across the country?