EMPLOYMENT

Louth senator calls on employers to introduce four day working week

Tia Clarke

Reporter:

Tia Clarke

Email:

tia.clarke@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Louth senator calls on employers to introduce four day working week

A Louth senator is calling on the Irish Government to introduce a four-day working week as a way to produce productivity. 

Labour Employment spokesman, Ged Nash, who is based in Drogheda, told the Irish Mirror that a shorter working week should be explored because workers "are constantly expected to be on duty". 

Ged Nash

A number of Irish trade unions, including Forsa, said that a reduced working week was a talking point in international debates about the future of week. 

Senator Nash told the Irish Mirror: “The world of work is changing rapidly and workers are increasingly being made feel like they need to be constantly available to their employers.

“In order to make work more productive and to ensure family life and society benefits from advances in technology, I think it is timely that we examine how our working time laws at Irish and EU level can better serve workers and industry by providing workers with a better work-life balance.

“With workers constantly being expected to be ‘on’, there is evidence to suggest that quality of work and productivity can suffer as a result. 

“Employees and employers don’t benefit from this kind of practice.” 

Irish Trade Union Fórsa and the TUC in the UK have called for research to be carried out into how a four-day working week would benefit workers and the economy.

“The Labour Party is doing similar work in regards to this as we examine the challenges around the future of work.

“As we move closer and closer to full employment, we have to look at the pressures on workers, especially younger workers and examine how our current laws can be changed to benefit workers, society and industry.” 

New Zealand firm Perpetual Guardian implemented a four-day working week last March as a two-month trial last March. The company reported a jump in productivity and said that there was a massive decrease in stress for their 240 employees. 

The four-day working week has also recently been introduced by a number of larger companies and small businesses in London.