Tuesday, 16 April 2024
    Four-day work week trial recommended

    Four-day work week trial recommended

    Australia could be getting a national trial of the four-day work week to see how it improves the lives of those juggling work and caring responsibilities,  7 News reports.

    A parliamentary committee has recommended a federal government-backed trial of the four-day work week based on the “100:80:100” model, which is where workers keep their entire salary and maintain full productivity despite working 80 per cent of the week.

    The pilot would be spread across industries and conducted in partnership with an Australian university.

    The four-day week model has been successfully trialled at companies in Australia and overseas, with participants reporting improved productivity, work-life balance, health and wellbeing, and the normalisation of care as part of work.

    The pilot has been recommended as one of several measures aimed at helping people strike a better balance between work and care responsibilities.

    The Senate Select Committee on Work and Care also suggested a Fair Work Commission review of the 38-hour working week, including if stronger penalties for long hours are needed, and installing a “right to disconnect” outside of work hours.

    Under their proposal, employers would be restricted from contacting employees outside of work hours unless it was an emergency.

    Committee chair Barbara Pocock said Australia was an international outlier in terms of supporting workers with caring responsibilities.

    Non-profit organisation Momentum Mental Health has been experimenting with the 100:80:100 model with positive results, with plans to extend the policy beyond the six-month trial period.

    The organisation’s chief executive, Deborah Bailey, said the shortened work week had both improved productivity and the wellbeing of its staff.

    She said workers with caring responsibilities were able to attend appointments and spend time with children or elderly parents without having to squeeze it in before work or over their lunch break.

    “We have found that we have given people the capacity to take on those caring roles and also their productivity has increased,” Ms Bailey told AAP.


    Four-day work week trial recommended by Senate committee to ease work-life juggle (7 News)


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