Global petition for 4-day week launched

A global petition for a four-day week on full-time pay aims to give people more time to spend with their families or on other interests.

Relaxation

 

A campaign group is today launching a global petition for a four-day week on the same pay and benefits as a full-time job.

The 4-day week Global Foundation wants to reach at least one million signatures.

It says: “By signing the petition, you’re directly sending a message to employers and workers that it’s time to rethink the way we work.”

The petition will also help the group discover which companies have the most employees eager to pilot a four-day week and they will use it to select workplaces to trial a four-day week at the beginning of 2022. The pilot will include business support, advice and mentoring to help companies roll out the scheme across their workplaces.

In Ireland, for instance, the campaign is being backed by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. They have announced that they will fund a research partnership to assess the economic, social, and environmental impacts of a four-day working week in a specifically Irish context.

The researchers will examine the impact of a shorter working week on private sector companies and public sector employers as they pilot a four-day week over six months. The research will explore the impact of a shorter working week on productivity, wellbeing, job satisfaction, environmental footprint and household division of labour.

The global campaign also includes a change to share information with colleagues and employers. A spokesperson for the campaign says: “We have the power to increase the time we spend with family, on hobbies, and outdoors.”

Meanwhile, Peter Cheese, chairman of the UK government’s Flexible Working Taskforce, has said that he can see the UK  gradually moving to a four-day working week following the pandemic, citing a “generational opportunity” to change traditional working patterns after months of setting up office at home. He told the Politico website: “What we refer to as the standard five-day working week, that’s what will begin to change. And it could emerge in lots of different forms, one of which could be a four-day working week.”

*The UK arm of the campaign can be found here.



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