From Travel + Leisure - Spain will likely become the first country in the world to test a permanent four-day, 32-hour workweek beginning as soon as the fall of 2021. The pilot program is intended to help businesses reduce their hours with minimal financial risk for the companies and without having to dock workers' pay.
The plan was introduced by Spanish political party Más País and recently received approval from the Spanish government. Íñigo Errejón, the president of Más País, stated, "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."
Although details are still being finalized by Spanish government officials, the original plan proposed by the Más País party proposed a three-year pilot program that would allow companies to try reducing their hours with minimal risk. Any additional costs or shortages that a company faces during its first year would be 100% covered by the government. The second year, 50%. And the third year, 33%.
Héctor Tejero of the Más País party said, "The only red lines are that we want to see a true reduction of working hours and no loss of salary or jobs."
The proposed four-day workweek plan would begin simply as an opt-in option for businesses, not as a forced mandate. Tejero projects around 200 companies would voluntarily participate in the pilot program, affecting the workweeks of anywhere between 3,000 and 6,000 Spanish workers.
Business Insider noted that Shake Shack, whose headquarters are in New York City, began testing a similar shortened workweek for managers in some of its restaurants in an effort to attract and retain talent. Shake Shack President Tara Comonte told National Public Radio last year, "The shortened week meant workers were able to take their kids to school a day a week, or one day less of having to pay for day care."
Image from Skyline Housing Inc.