Four-day workweek trial launched as government offers € 150,000 to support research

A NEW TRIAL program that aims to allow employers to test the effectiveness of a four-day work week is launched today.

The six-month experiment is being piloted by the Four Day Week Ireland campaign. The group says a four-day work week benefits employees, who enjoy a better work-life balance, and can also lead to greater productivity for companies.

Organizations participating in the program will receive support, training and mentorship on how to successfully implement the concept. Employees involved in the plan will not suffer any loss of wages.

The pilot project will run in parallel in a number of countries, including Ireland, the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

The government also announced today that it will fund research into the social, economic and environmental implications of a four-day work week.

Announcing the € 150,000 research fund, Tánaiste and Enterprise and Employment Minister Leo Varadkar said it was “too early to say” if a four-day week could work in Ireland, but l he idea is “ambitious”.

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“I can see how it might work for some roles, but it’s hard to see how it would work in others, especially in healthcare, education and manufacturing for example,” Varadkar said.

But we need to keep an open mind when it comes to innovations in the world of work.

Environment, Climate and Communications Minister Eamon Ryan said a four-day week could help reduce carbon emissions and air pollution, improve work-life balance and support gender equality.

“We need to look at the potential and assess the impacts of such a change, and this research will help us understand it,” he said.

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