Four-day workweek trial for Irish companies
More than a dozen Irish companies have joined an international pilot program to introduce a four-day work week.
A total of 17 Irish companies have signed up for the Four Day Week Ireland campaign, which on Wednesday presented its plans for the pilot to the Oireachtas Committee on Business, Trade and Jobs.
The pilot program in Ireland is being carried out in conjunction with similar programs around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand.
The test program aims to explore the effectiveness of a four-day workweek and encourages employers to test a shorter workweek over a six-month period starting in February 2022.
Participating employers will have access to supports to ease the transition to a four-day work week, including a training program developed by companies that already operate a four-day job. Participating companies will also benefit from coaching and mentoring from companies with experience of shorter work weeks.
The Fórsa union, which is leading the campaign in Ireland, says a four-day work week is about working smarter.
Fórsa general secretary Kevin Callinan told Newstalk that the four-day model aims to produce 100% productivity in 80% of a normal five-day workweek.
“This is what has been proven to work. This is the idea of the trial – to show how it can really make a real difference that benefits employers and staff but also in doing so is better for the economy. is better for society, and it’s better for the environment, ”Callinan told Newstalk.
Callinan encouraged any employer who was considering trying a four-day job to get in touch with Fóras and said the initiative would have no impact on productivity.
“We look forward to supporting employers already enrolled in their journey to a four-day week, and we encourage those considering participating in the trial to contact us.”
He said a significant number of companies had to test a four-day workweek before an accurate economic assessment could be made.
However, the Confederation of Irish Business and Employers (IBEC) told the Oireachtas committee that a four-day job would not work because it is too expensive and complicated to implement. The group said a transition to a four-day week would also cause disruption for customers and customers.
Earlier this year, Dublin city councilors unanimously backed plans for a pilot four-day workweek program for city workers.