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29th Sep 2021

Four day week with full pay to be trialled by Belfast City Council

Danny Jones

Belfast City Council to trial four day week

Belfast are set to trial the reduced working week

Belfast City Council is considering bringing in a four day week with full pay.

According to BelfastLive, Sinn Fein put forward a motion for a trial of the four-day working week earlier this month; the DUP has also agreed to the study but did insist that there would need to be adjustments to the proposed model should it go ahead. The motion read as follows:

“Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses and workers have re-evaluated and re-assessed the issue of work-life balance and productivity.

“It has been almost 100 years since trades unions secured workers the right to a weekend and it is important that, as part of the economic recovery, we consider how we can modernise the working arrangements to the benefit of workers and employers.

“There are numerous examples from across the world where a four-day working week has been successfully trialled, leading to increases in positivity and an improved work-life balance.

“The latest trial from Iceland has been hailed as an ‘overwhelming success’, with productivity remaining unchanged or actually going up and the health and wellbeing of workers improving significantly.”

The report goes on to say that officials intend to put together a plan for a trial among council workers themselves within the next 12 months, with the council and Stormont departments receiving quarterly progress reports.

Supporters across the world argue that four-day/30-hour working weeks massively benefit people’s wellbeing and productivity, in turn, leading to further positive impacts not only on the economy but the climate also.

Sinn Fein Councillor Matt Garrett pointed out that over the last year, various facets of working from home have already demonstrated the benefits of an adjusted working week, adding that “Families and workers right across society are having to do things differently now in terms of work.”

Check out our very own video on the four-day working week:

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