The Ministry of Industry has reached an agreement with Más País to include in the Upcoming Budgets of 2022 the pilot plan to test the 32-hour or four-day workweek. The measure, which seeks to study the effects of the reduction of working hours in different companies and sectors, will have an item that, in the absence of receiving the approval of the Treasury, will amount to 50 million euros, as the Executive had already committed with training led by Íñigo Errejón last January.
The draft of the Budgets is still being finalized, but both parties count for the development of the plan with the amount that More Country I had already claimed in a amendment to the 2021 PGE and that was rejected. With this investment, it is intended both to develop the pilot study and to grant financial aid to the companies that take advantage of the plan so that the workers do not stop receiving their wages in full despite the reduction of the working day, as well as to pay for the necessary transformations in the matter digitization.
The plan is to test with between 200 and 400 companies and that between 3,000 and 6,000 workers participate
The starting hypothesis is that these financial aid may be reduced if, as is assumed, the productivity of companies is increasing, in addition to the savings in companies due to the reduction of overtime.
Next week, the heads of Industry will meet again with those of More Country to try to advance in the definition of the plan, in the number and type of voluntary companies to be hosted and the deadlines for its implementation, according to Industry sources. In the absence of this, the environmental organization is committed to testing the measure in a range of between 200 and 400 voluntary companies from different sectors to compare their results with other similar companies that have not reduced working hours. The number of workers who would participate in the plan would be between 3,000 and 6,000.
The pilot plan for the four-day work week will be implemented in 200 companies
Among the sectors to which this plan is intended to be directed, which will be annual, mainly consulting, programming, law or architecture stand out.
The starting thesis of Más País for the implementation of this plan is that the reduction of working hoursIn the medium term, it would compensate for the drop in productivity for reasons such as workers’ rest, greater identification with the company or the lower turnover rate, which would benefit greater job preparation. All in all, the pilot plan will take care of quantify productivity based on different sectors and companies.
The initial proposal focused on linking the plan to European funds, but from Industry they raised doubts about the use of these resources with the purpose of subsidizing companies that join the project. Finally, from More Country they did not object to take the measure to the PGE next year.
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Among the sectors to which this plan is intended to be directed, which will be annual character, mainly include consulting, programming, advocacy, ‘telemarketing’ or architecture. However, it seeks to add other sectors in principle less receptive to this plan, such as the hotel industry. The objective is to check after one year, although the monitoring will be continuous, if there have been increases in productivity and the well-being of workers.
To design the plan and monitor its effects, you will create a group of independent experts, from the university field, who work as a consortium together with unions and employers, in addition to the technicians of the Ministry of Industry. Thus, the effects on the working market of the reduction of the working day, with a view to promoting legislative changes in this direction in the future.
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In its electoral program, Más País defended that this measure presents both social and environmental benefits: “Fair and equal distribution of the paid workload; better family reconciliation so that unpaid work (essentially care and domestic maintenance) is shared equally between men and women; reduction of trips to work and more time to get involved in low-carbon activities: sports, cultural, etc., and a more prosperous economy due to better health of working people. “
The Government itself made a similar proposal in the plan ‘Spain 2050’, presented by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, last May. In the recommendations on the labor market, the document prepared under the direction of Moncloa’s National Prospective and Strategy Office includes in its objective number 43 the need to “progressively reduce the number of hours worked per week until it reaches levels similar to that of those of the EU-8 “. That is, to stand in the 35 hours per week. For it, it is advocated to adapt labor legislation, “taking advantage of the opportunities of digitization and improvements in productivity”, with a view not only to a better redistribution of employment, but also to “promote healthier and more satisfying work”.