Germany will Test a Four-day Workweek for the Next Six Months starting on February 1

By Consultants Review Team Monday, 29 January 2024

Germany is prepared to test a 4-day work week starting on February 1, 2024, for the next six months, at a time when the majority of businesses are requesting that their workers return to work full-time following the epidemic. According to sources, Germany is currently dealing with a slowing economy, a shortage of trained labor, and excessive prices. The goal of the study is to determine whether, as suggested by labor unions, a 4-day workweek will improve employee health, happiness, and productivity at such times. 

A four-day work week would be trialed for six months starting on February 1st, with 45 enterprises expected to take part. The non-profit 4 Day Week Global, with its headquarters in New Zealand, is spearheading the project.

The German workforce missed work an average of 21.3 days in 2022, according to the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. This resulted in a loss of 207 billion euros, or around INR 1,86,55,87,26,60,900. According to Bloomberg, disgruntled workers caused low engagement at work, which cost the world economy €8.1 trillion in 2023.

Employees would work fewer hours per week for the same income during the trial phase, but 4 Day Week Global claims that in order for it to be successful, their productivity must be the same or higher. Employees are anticipated to be more productive in addition to taking fewer sick days as a result of stress, illness, or burnout. Consequently, this could lessen the losses incurred by the businesses and the world economy.

In the European Union (EU), Germany has a large percentage of part-time workers. Proponents of the four-day workweek think that this could help attract more untapped potential in this segment. But according to a Bloomberg story, Germany's Finance Minister Christian Lindner has rejected the idea of a shortened work week because he thinks it could jeopardize their economic growth.

However, 4 Day Week Global claims that earlier attempts of this kind in the US, Canada, UK, and Portugal were fruitful. Employees who took part in the 4-day workweek trials reported less burnout and improved physical and mental wellbeing. Businesses in Germany that are taking part in a 4-day workweek anticipate comparable outcomes.

A 4-day work week has been proposed and adopted in other nations before. The first nation in the EU to do so was Belgium in 2022, however the overall number of working hours in a week would remain the same for a 4-day work week. In the meantime, businesses in Japan are urged to implement a 4-day workweek so that employees may spend more time with their families, start families, and make purchases, all of which would help the country's aging population and economy.


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