Campaign for four-day working week officially launches in Ireland 2 months ago

Campaign for four-day working week officially launches in Ireland

“Just like we won the weekend, together, we can win the four-day week.”

A campaign for a four-day working week in Ireland will officially launch on Thursday as a coalition of trade unions, businesses and representative groups seek to promote the benefits of a shorter working week.

4-Day Week Ireland will be launched at the Royal Irish Academy in Dawson Street in Dublin on Thursday morning, an event that will include speakers from companies based in Ireland and New Zealand that have already implemented four-day working weeks for their employees.

The launch comes off the back of a pledge by the UK Labour Party this week to introduce a four-day working week with no loss in pay.

Speakers at the event include Andrew Barnes, founder of New Zealand company Perpetual Guardian, where a four-day working week was introduced for approximately 250 employees in March 2018.

Also speaking at the launch will be Margaret Cox, CEO of Galway company ICE, which implemented a similar policy earlier this year.

In both companies, employees work four days but are paid for five; all other employment conditions are unchanged, and output is the same as it would be in a five-day working week.

Amongst those involved in the campaign in Ireland include Fórsa Trade Union, the National Women’s Council of Ireland and Friends of the Earth Ireland.

Director of Campaigning for Fórsa Trade Union Joe O’Connor says the event will outline the business, societal, environmental, personal and other benefits that could arise from the adoption of shorter working time, in all sectors of the economy, in the context of technological change and new forms of work organisation.

In a Twitter thread earlier this week, O’Connor tweeted: “The arguments against a four-day week are remarkably similar to those which were historically made against the five-day week, and the eight-hour day.

“That it is an unaffordable luxury. Just like we won the weekend, together, we can win the four-day week.”