Will Portugal see the implementation of a four-day working week successfully? , Source: Unsplash

Portugal proposes pilot for 4-day work week

Portugal proposes pilot for 4-day work week

The Government has presented the idea, but some of the business actors are not too keen on it

The Portuguese Government presented yesterday its breakthrough idea for a four-day working week. The pilot project is set to be launched in June of 2023 and it is first aimed at the private sector, before taking it to the public sphere.

The pilot project is meant to last six months and for this purpose, the authorities are looking for volunteer companies from the private sector to implement the idea. However, one thing that is not so clear is what the number of working hours per week will be. Apparently, the wish is to go to the expected 32 hours, but that might not be entirely possible.

No financial compensation from the State though

Since the Government does not offer any financial compensation, an exact number of hours per week will not be stipulated, which “can be 32, 34 or 36 hours, defined by agreement between management and workers”. That means employees might have to do longer working days. The only condition is that workers actually work fewer hours per week, without repercussions to their salaries.

There are several conditions for participating in the test - which may not be for everyone: according to the project, the experience has to "involve the vast majority of workers" in the company, except for large companies, where it can be tested in only a few departments.

And indeed, at a first glance, the private sector in Portugal seems to feel a bit uneasy and unsure about the proposed idea. For instance, the Confederation of Commerce and Services (CCP) and the Confederation of Tourism of Portugal (CTP) have stated that this is not the time to discuss the four-day working week, arguing that there are other priorities, such as the energy crisis.

The CCP president considered that there may be companies "with a profile" suitable for the implementation of the four-day week, as is the case of companies "in the area of ​​technologies, culture, creativity, advertising", but he foresees difficulties in companies with Customer Service. An opinion, which was seconded by the tourism industry reps.



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