August 5, 2021

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In New Zealand, Unilever will test four days a week (with the same pay)

The government says this is positive, and Unilever Group’s New Zealand subsidiary has decided to take a fall, testing a year with a four-day work week without a drop in wages. A few hundred employees are qualified, and if successful, the team can extend it globally.

This is the Unilever team (headquartered here in Rotterdam) starting this experiment © Ciba / John Thais

It is a move that makes people dream more: more than half of French workers (60%) want to benefit from it, According to a 2009 survey by ATPFall in pay or even long days. With this experience, the Unilever team proposes to go Four days work week with only pay, To its 81 employees in New Zealand.

In more detail, it follows the course initiated by local Prime Minister Jacinta Artern, who was successfully re-elected last October. He proposed in May Switch to four days a week to help the jumpstart economy, Covit-19 was weighed down by the corona virus crisis and 7 weeks imprisonment.

“Our goal is to measure performance in production, not just on time”, Nick Banks, the boss of Unilever’s New Zealand branch, promises his share. “The old working system is gone and we hope it no longer applies.”

The company clearly believes that it should make a long-term profit from this experiment: this is the reality of the bankAllows for greater flexibility At work, This will result in higher productivity from employees. The results will be reviewed by Sydney University of Technology.

Half-hearted experiments in Europe

This is not the first company to try to go to work four days a week, but so far the move has always resulted in heavy compensation for employees. For example, in 1993, a contract was signed In Volkswagen, Germany, Switch Four days a week, but with a 20% pay cut, To save jobs in the company. But the advent of newer model cars, which required more hours of work, led to the abandonment of this experiment.

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In France, another experiment was carried out by rabbinic law Voted in 1996 on setting working hours. In exchange for relief from employer contributions, it was proposed for voluntary organizations to reduce the working hours of their employees. It was repealed by Aubrey laws in 1998 and passed 35 hours a week.

In 1999, it was shown in a study by the Louis Harris InstituteA quarter of the staff were transferred four days a week By agreement provided by the Rabbi Act There was a mixed opinion, Especially condemning the deterioration of their working conditions. On the other hand, the younger staff were more determined by the device.

The four-day week in France is sponsored by politicians like Jacques Delorz or Pierre Loruro (who has won the idea since 1993). For the latter, a shift to work four days a week, By better distributing jobs among the people, Is one of the solutions to the current economic crisis.