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How to make the transition
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People all over the world are calling on Governments and business to implement a shorter working week. Join the movement and sign the international petition today.
How will it work?
Our medium term objective is to move towards the four day week being the standard work arrangement across the economy, with no loss of pay. As with the five day week today, it will not be the only work arrangement – For some sectors, employments and workers, different variances of reduced working hours and a shorter working week will need to co-exist alongside the benchmark of the four day week.
We do not mean that everyone will have a ‘three day weekend’ – Strong management and clever rostering will need to ensure that businesses and public services can function for 5 or in some cases even 7 days, alongside a shorter working week for all workers. This can be achieved through a combination of the following necessary interventions:
- Labour market competition – Public demand and business leadership
- Strong trade unions and collective bargaining
- Government influence and public contracting
Why do we need it?
We want to start a public conversation in Ireland on the case for reduced working hours. We want to change the false narrative that working long hours is good for productivity and a badge of honour, challenge the worst excesses of the ‘work-first, always-on’ culture, and champion the importance of family time, leisure time, caring work and community work.
We have seen big changes in the ways we work and live. Technology has removed barriers to new ways of working, and employers have seen the benefit of allowing for flexibility among their workforce. These changes are leading to more efficient working practices, now and in the future. We must make sure that these changes work for workers, their families and communities.
What are the benefits?
A shorter working week can bring benefits to everyone. For workers it means more time to themselves. For business it can actually bring greater productivity, as well as attracting the best talent. For women, a shorter working week can allow greater flexibility, supporting participation in the workforce. On a societal level, a four day week also supports us to take better care of our health, and can have a positive impact on the environment by reducing carbon created by commuting, for example. The four day week is better for everyone, it’s time we made the change.