Today’s Solutions: October 17, 2021

We recently shared the results of the largest ever trial of a four-day working week in Iceland, which researchers hailed as an “overwhelming success.” Now, inspired by those findings, Belgium is considering implementing the idea as part of a broader set of labor market reforms.

According to Pierre-Yves Dermagne, a spokesperson for the Belgian economy and labor minister, the four-day working week is a “fundamental matter” after the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the working lives of people.

In Dermagne’s view, new legislation around the four-day week must also contain provisions for a “right to disconnect” law, as well as rules on registering working time, reports euronews. Once committed to the proposal, the government will hash out the details of transitioning to a four-day week in collaboration with representatives of industry and trade unions.

Other countries 

If officials decide to implement the idea, Belgium would leapfrog previous trials of four-day working weeks in Spain and Iceland, where researchers found that the transition led to lower stress in workers and reduced the risk of burnout, without affecting productivity or quality of service provision.

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