Spain is now testing the four-day week at national level
The government approved a motion by the left-wing party Más País. According to this, around 200 companies are to be financially supported in reducing the working hours of their employees to 32 hours a week. With the project, Spain could become a pioneer.
Dhe Spanish government wants to launch a pilot project for the four-day week. The proposal came from the left-wing Más País party, as reported by the British newspaper “Guardian”, among others. According to the application, around 200 companies are to be supported with a total of 50 million euros over three years in reducing the working hours of employees to 32 hours a week.
The Spanish government already accepted the application at the beginning of the year, but the initiative should start in October at the earliest. “In Spain, people work more hours than the European average. However, we are not among the most productive countries, ”said Inigo Errejón, party founder of Más País, on Twitter. Accordingly, more working hours do not necessarily mean higher productivity.
How the project will actually be designed is to be decided in the coming weeks. The Más País party wants to minimize the risk for the participating companies through financial aid. A possible failure of the companies could be completely taken over by the Spanish state in the first year, half in the second year and a third in the third year.
“With these calculations, around 200 companies with 3,000 to 6,000 employees could take part,” says Héctor Tejero from Más País. What you don’t want to see are job losses or reduced salaries.
Spain could thus become a global pioneer in the field of the four-day week. “A pilot project like this has never been started anywhere in the world,” says Tejero. The left party is hoping for the effects that the Spanish company Software Delsol perceived when it became the first Spanish company to introduce the four-day week last year. “You noticed that there were fewer sick days, productivity increased, and workers were happier,” says Tejero. The project is to be accompanied and evaluated by experts.
Opposing voices come mainly from business. As early as December, Ricardo Mur, President of the Association of Companies from Aragon, described the move as “madness”. Mur said: “To get out of a crisis, you have to work more, not less.”