Spanish News

The Spanish Government will Provide €150,000 to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises to Trial a Four-day Workweek

todayApril 11, 2023

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The Spanish government’s new initiative to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to trial a four-day working week without any reduction in staff salaries has been met with interest and enthusiasm.

As part of the trial, the Spanish Ministry of Industry and Commerce will provide €150,000 to SMEs who participate in the two-year pilot scheme, during which companies will have to reduce their staff’s weekly working hours by at least 10%. The aim of the trial is to increase productivity and improve work-life balance, leading to better physical and mental health for workers.

The government has allocated a budget of €10 million to cover any potential losses incurred by participating SMEs, as well as training costs aimed at increasing efficiency. Around 60 to 70 SMEs will take part in the initial trial, and the companies will also have to adopt measures to evaluate productivity during the scheme.

The four-day working week has been trialed in several other countries, including the UK, where the largest trial to date was conducted. Of the 70 companies that took part in the UK trial, 86% reported satisfaction with the results and pledged to continue with the reduced working week.

While some corporations in Spain and Japan have experimented with reduced working hours, it has often been accompanied by a corresponding reduction in salaries. The Spanish government’s trial is unique in that it offers financial incentives to companies to adopt a four-day working week without reducing salaries.

The initiative has been met with support from left-wing political parties in Spain, including the Más País group, who are backing Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s 2023 national budget. The government hopes that the trial will demonstrate the benefits of a four-day working week and encourage more companies to adopt the practice.

Critics of the initiative argue that reducing working hours without a corresponding reduction in salaries will lead to increased costs for companies and may not necessarily lead to increased productivity. However, proponents of the four-day working week point to the potential benefits for worker well-being, increased productivity, and reduced carbon emissions.

As more and more countries consider the four-day working week, it remains to be seen whether the Spanish government’s trial will demonstrate the benefits of the practice and encourage more companies to adopt the approach.

Written by: BayRadio News

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