A Campaign To Launch A Four-Day Work Week In Ireland Has Launched

The launch hails from a pledge by the UK Labour Party this week to introduce a four-day working week with no loss in pay.

The Irish leg of an international campaign for a four-day working week today launches today. 

The movement is made up of an international coalition of trade unions, businesses and environmental and women's groups who believe in the benefits of a shorter working week.

It follows the British Labour Party's recent commitment to campaign to reduce the working week to four days in lieu of five. 

Speakers at the event include Andrew Barnes, founder of New Zealand company Perpetual Guardian, where a four-day working week was introduced for approximately 250 employees in March 2018.

Also speaking at the launch will be Margaret Cox, CEO of Galway company ICE, which implemented a similar policy earlier this year.

In both companies, employees work four days but are paid for five; all other employment conditions are unchanged, and output is the same as it would be in a five-day working week.

Labour spokesperson on employment and social protection Ged Nash called for an expert group on extending a shorter working week here.

The senator said workers are being made to feel like they are expected to be constantly available to their employer due to new technologies.

"We have to look again at our working time laws and how we can ensure working people work to live, rather than merely live to work," he said.

Amongst those involved in the campaign in Ireland include Fórsa Trade Union, the National Women’s Council of Ireland and Friends of the Earth Ireland.

Director of Campaigning for Fórsa Trade Union Joe O’Connor says the event will outline the business, societal, environmental, personal and other benefits that could arise from the adoption of shorter working time.

In a Twitter thread earlier this week, O’Connor tweeted: “The arguments against a four-day week are remarkably similar to those which were historically made against the five-day week, and the eight-hour day.

“That it is an unaffordable luxury. Just like we won the weekend, together, we can win the four-day week.”

Main image by @adesuwa

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