A four-day workweek comes around a few times a year, and it’s always met with a sigh of relief. Spain wants to make that sigh permanent by trialing a pilot program for the idea. Leftwing Spanish political party Más País proposed the idea earlier this year and announced that the government had accepted the proposal.
According to The Guardian, President of Más País Íñigo Errejón said, “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.”
The details of the trial program haven’t been figured out yet, but the party proposed a three-year project that would allow companies to trial reduced hours with minimal risk. The government would cover 100 percent of company costs for the first year, 50 percent for the second year, and 33 percent for the third year as they adjust to the new system.
Héctor Tejero, also of Más País, said, “With these figures, we calculate that we could have around 200 companies participate, with a total of anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 workers. The only red lines are that we want to see a true reduction of working hours and no loss of salary or jobs.”
It’s unclear exactly when the pilot program would begin, but it could start as soon as fall, making Spain the first country to undertake such an initiative.