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A 4-Day Workweek Is Being Tested All Over The World & Belgium Is The Latest To Consider It

Justin Trudeau has discussed the concept for Canada, too. 🇨🇦

Trending Editor
A 4-Day Workweek Is Being Tested All Over The World & Belgium Is The Latest To Consider It

Same hours, same pay, longer weekend. That's the concept that is currently being discussed by the government in Belgium — which may become the latest country to implement a four-day workweek.

This week, officials in Belgium told POLITICO that the government is considering broader reforms of the labour market, as the COVID-19 pandemic has "radically changed the way we work."

They say the four-day workweek concept aims to "give a worker more flexibility to organize their working week," by reducing the number of working days from five to four.

The Belgian proposal suggests that the number of working hours would stay the same overall, with employees working an increased number of hours across fewer days.

More clarity is expected to be provided this weekend, but a spokesperson for Belgium's economy and labour ministry says consensus on the proposal is growing among Belgium's seven-party coalition government. Once the feds have committed to the plan, a more detailed concept will be created.

It wouldn't be the first country to test out a similar program. In Iceland, four-day workweek trials have been ongoing for several years and the results show the program to have been an "overwhelming success."

Spain is also set to trial it on a national level after the government agreed to launch a pilot project for companies who want to get involved.

What about a four-day workweek in Canada?

While there have been no formal commitments to the idea of a four-day workweek in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has acknowledged calls for similar tests.

"I think there are a lot of people thinking creatively about what the post-COVID world could look like," he said back in June. "I look forward to hearing a wide range of suggestions. But right now, we're very much focused on getting through this particular crisis."

While the concept is yet to take off on a federal level, towns and individual companies across the country are trialling the change and in many cases, it seems to be going pretty well.

In September, an Indeed study found that around 50% of small, medium and large companies in Canada would consider implementing a shorter workweek.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

    Helena Hanson
    Trending Editor
    Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Canada's Trending Desk focused on major news. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.
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