Four Day Week Ireland to present plans for pilot campaign to Government today 2 months ago

Four Day Week Ireland to present plans for pilot campaign to Government today

Nearly 20 businesses are joining the trial next year.

The Four Day Week Ireland campaign will present plans for a pilot to the Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment today as nearly 20 Irish businesses will join a trail next year.

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Under the pilot programme, employers will introduce a four-day week for their employees over a six-month period starting in January 2022.

The pilot will include business supports to help organisations explore flexible working smoothly and successfully

Kevin Callinan, General Secretary of trade union Fórsa, which is part of the campaign told Newstalk on Wednesday that they are campaigning for "100% productivity over 80% of the time".

“That is what has been proven to work," he said. "That is the idea of the trial, to show how this can actually make a real difference that benefits employers and staff but also, in doing so, is better for the economy is better for society and is better for the environment.”

He added that they have 17 employers committed to participating in the trial next year.

“The €150,000 the Government has committed to research is very welcome but we need now employers across the private, public and voluntary sectors to trial it next year, so we have a good assessment of the economic, social and environmental benefits," he continued.

Also as part of the pilot, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications has announced 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.

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Up to €150,000 will be made available to support this research, which will explore the impact of a shorter working week on productivity, well-being, job satisfaction, environmental footprint and household division of labour.

Chairperson of the Four Day Week Ireland campaign Joe O’Connor said in a statement: “In the last year we have seen radical shifts in our working practices. More flexible ways of working are here to stay.

"This year has also given people a chance to reflect on what they value most and how they want to manage their working lives, and so now is absolutely the right time to rethink, review and change the way we do things, and move to a four-day week.

"We know from international research that a shorter working week doesn’t mean a loss in productivity – in many cases, it is the opposite."