A new pilot programme to test the effectiveness of a four day working week for staff with no pay loss, has been launched in Ireland.
This pilot experiment will last for 6 months and was launched by the Four Day Week Ireland Campaign. It has promised to deliver positive results for businesses and work/life balance for workers.
"In the last year we have seen radical shifts in our working practices. More flexible ways of working are here to stay", the Chairman for the Four Day Week Ireland Joe O'Connor said. "The launch of the four-day week pilot programme represents an exciting moment of change for employers and employees, and it’s up to the business community now to show that they are willing to lead and support this change for the better".
Four Day Week Ireland also believe that the pandemic has allowed employees to consider the way that they work, which has led to many reconsidering how they want to work in the future.
"We know from international research that a shorter working week doesn’t mean a loss in productivity - in many cases, it is the opposite", he added.
Organisations are to receive supports, training and mentoring on how to make this concept run smoothly, according to the plan.
It was also reported by RTE, as part of this scheme, the government are to call for research, assessing the social, economic, and environmental impacts of a four day week in a specifically Irish context.
This scheme is to begin in January and will also run in a number of other places including New Zealand, the US and UK.
"Form of a bonus"
The campaign has also added that a number of businesses have put this four day working week to the test already. Business that have tested it include Donegal based-business, 3D Issues.
"When we offered the four-day work week, it was in the form of a bonus to our staff", said 3D Issue's CEO Phil McNulty. "At the time, we did not necessarily think that reducing staff hours would lead to an increase in sales and productivity, yet it did. Our staff are happier, more refreshed and more engaged in their work".
"At the time, we did not necessarily think that reducing staff hours would lead to an increase in sales and productivity, yet it did. Our staff are happier, more refreshed and more engaged in their work", Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Employment Leo Varadkar said.
"The idea is ambitious, to achieve the same outcomes and productivity, for the same pay with 20% fewer hours worked. I can see how that might work for some roles but it’s hard to see how it would work in others particularly in health, education and manufacturing for example. But we need to keep an open mind when it comes to innovations in the world of work".