Spain to test a 4-day workweek with no reduction in pay

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

16 Mar 2021

Spain is set to become the first country to trial a four day workweek after the government agreed to subsidise companies interested in the project.

The idea of a four day workweek has recently become a point of debate across various nations, with countries like Germany and New Zealand weighing up the option.

“With the four-day work week (32 hours), we’re launching into the real debate of our times,” said Iñigo Errejón of Más País, the left wing party who proposed the idea. “It’s an idea whose time has come.”

“Spain is one of the countries where workers put in more hours than the European average. But we’re not among the most productive countries, I maintain that working more hours does not mean working better.”

Supporters of the move see it as a way to increase productivity whilst also improving mental well being of workers which has become an increasing concern due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Proponents also claim that the shift will help in the fight against climate change.

The proposed scheme by Maś País would be a three-year, €50m endeavour which for example could see cost covered by the government at 100% the first year, 50% the second year and 33% the third year. Plans could even go into effect as early as autumn according to Tejero.

From a UK perspective Labour MP Peter Dowd said: “If the government is serious about levelling up this country then they should consider the four-day week as it represents one of the best opportunities for sharing work more equally across the economy.”