Spain’s Government Is Studying a Four-Day Work Week

Spain’s government is analyzing shortening working hours as well as cutting the working-week to four days.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Pablo Iglesias, leader of the left-wing Unidas Podemos, the government is considering proposing shorter working hours to boost employment. The comments to state-broadcaster RTVE came days after consumer-goods giant Unilever announced it will trial a four-day working week in New Zealand to enhance worker wellbeing and boost productivity.

The idea of a shorter working week has been around for years across the world, but the pandemic this year, and its impact on work, wellbeing and inequality, has led to a new push to think about economies and social structures. In particular, the huge use of furlough programs to keep workers in employment during lockdowns has spurred calls for greater support for low earners or those in vulnerable industries.

Any proposal for a change to Spain’s working week would be presented by the government within the so-called social dialog framework with labor unions and industry groups.

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