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Valencia trials four-day working week

Valencia trials four-day working week

If the dream of working a four-day week appeals to you then you should move to Valencia Spain where trials are currently being undertaken

The city of Valencia has launched a pilot experience to analyse the effects that the four-day workweek can have on aspects such as the health and well-being of its neighbours, the environment, and the economy, especially in the field of commerce, hospitality and leisure. The City Council is going to analyze these areas without going into labour issues and negotiating them.

The test is carried out for a month by taking advantage of four holiday Mondays between April 10 and May 7. The purpose of this initiative, which is expected to publish data in July, is to know its impact on “citizen aspects” and not business, financial or public administration only as has been done in other countries, the consistory insists.

It is not about a reduction in working hours, since “the annual calculation of hours worked will not be reduced. “This is not a program to reduce working hours. That is not our issue, that is the employer’s, the workers and the negotiation -in this area-. It is about doing a test, an experience” within an “axis of innovation” that is “designed for people”, in the words of the mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó.

The municipal manager defends an innovation model aimed at “benefiting the entire Valencian society”: “We work on things that directly benefit people, many of them organizational issues, of organization of society.”

With this initiative, Valencia becomes “the first city in the world to carry out a pilot project on a 32-hour working day for a month” with a citizen and not a business focus.

In this way, the experience is carried out from today’s festivity, April 10, Easter Monday; April 17, San Vicente Ferrer; Monday, April 24, to which the consistory has transferred the feast day of San Vicente Mártir, which took place on January 22; and May 1, Labor Day.

What other country has embraced it?

In February 2022, Belgian employees won the right to perform a full workweek in four days instead of the usual five without loss of salary. The bill came into force on November 21, allowing employees to decide whether to work four or five days a week.

Belgium’s prime minister, Alexander de Croo, hopes that a recent change to the country’s labour market will introduce greater flexibility and enable people to balance their work and family lives more easily.

According to de Croo, the new model aims to create a more dynamic economy by giving individuals and companies greater freedom to arrange their work schedules. He acknowledged that when compared to other countries, Belgium’s labour market is notoriously rigid and less dynamic, which has resulted in a lower employment rate.

In fact, only 71 out of 100 Belgians between the ages of 20 and 64 have jobs, which is two percentage points lower than the eurozone average and a full ten percentage points less than in neighbouring countries such as the Netherlands and Germany, according to Eurostat data from the third quarter of 2021.

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