Could Spain introduce a four-day work week?

Could Spain introduce a four-day work week?
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Pablo Iglesias, Spain's deputy Prime Minister, has confirmed that the government is analyzing the possibility of introducing a four-day work week.

The Socialist-led coalition government is looking into the possibility of Spain reducing the number of weekly hours to 32, without a loss of pay.

Iglesias, the leader of the left wing Unidos Podemos, said that a four-day work week would “undoubtedly” lead to more job creation and that his party “has always been in favour of reducing working hours”.

Iglesias continued by saying that the Minster for work Yolanda Díaz is exploring the idea “within the framework of social dialogue” and that the idea would “favour the generation of employment”.

Leader of the Más País party, Íñigo Errejón is also in favour of the idea. “Now that we have to rebuild our economy, Spain has the perfect opportunity to go for the four-day or 32-hour week,” he said. 

“It is a policy for the future that allows for an increase in the productivity of workers, improvements to physical and mental health,” continued Errejón. He also said that it would be an environmental green measure that would allow people to live quieter lives and pollute less.

Image: Free Photos/Pixabay

 

Initially, the idea would be limited to a small number of companies and is being considered by Spain's Treasury as part of negotiations ahead of budget talks.

The proposal comes after the Valencian government also included a similar idea in its draft budget, with a view to introducing  a four-day work week.

According to 20Minutos, a few companies have already adopted a four-day work week, which has led to an increase in productivity. A three-day weekend is said to not only make workers happier, but will also lead to an increase in consumption of goods and services.

There are many benefits of a four-day work week, but the experts have differing opinions. Director of the Centre of International Work and Family, Nuria Chinchilla told 20minutos that she doubts that the idea would actually work and that job flexibility would help employees more. “It would be useful if companies, when possible, could have flexible hours depending on their needs,” she said.

However, other experts have praised the idea such as business psychologist Pedro Sánchez saying that it will be better for mental health. “Undoubtedly having an addition day off will allow us to dedicate more time to personal and family life,” Sanchez told 20minutos.

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