Major announcement: Four-day workweek introduced on a large scale

Major announcement: Four-day workweek introduced on a large scale

Australians could work just four days a week for their full-time wage if sweeping proposals from a senate inquiry are adopted.

The landmark report by the select committee on work and care backed a raft of changes, including a year of paid parental leave, the right to disconnect from work outside of hours, and the 100:80:100 model, where workers would continue to be paid a full-time wage and maintain productivity despite working 80% of the week.

The pilot would be spread across the workforce and conducted in partnership with an Australian university. The report recommended a review into the idea of the 38-hour work week and whether stronger penalties were required for employers who made staff work long hours. Another key recommendation was restricting employers from contacting employees outside of work hours unless it’s an emergency.

Recent research has found that staff on a four-day work week are more productive, with companies which took part in the experiment seeing their revenue dramatically increase.

The first large-scale study of its kind, released in December, is the latest in the push to reduce the mandatory five-day working week. Over 10 months, nearly 1000 employees at 33 different companies took part in the trial.

Their hours were cut down by an average of six hours, and they worked one less day a week, while still receiving their regular full-time salary. The report found that revenue rose 8% during the trial, but it was up a whopping 38% from the same period a year earlier.

While the report had the broad support of Labor and Coalition senators, additional comments provided by government members noted the reforms might not be possible in the current economic environment.

Research suggests that the four-day workweek could improve productivity, staff satisfaction, and overall company revenue. Companies that took part in the trial rated the overall experience a nine out of 10, with resignations dropping slightly, and the ability to attract new workers also increasing. Australia was the largest participant in the study, other than the US.

»Major announcement: Four-day workweek introduced on a large scale«

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