Spain backs four-day working week pilot supported by public money

9 Feb 21

A pilot scheme to support companies trialling a four-day week for their employees is set to begin in Spain, with €50m of backing from the government.

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Madrid Shutterstock 128223203

Madrid, Spain. Image © Shutterstock

The money, which will come from European Union funds, will cover the cost of salaries for the one day per week not worked, meaning workers will not lose any pay.

The pilot is intended to explore whether productivity and wellbeing can be increased by a four-day week, while keeping wages at the same level.

“We do not think that European funds have to be used to do things exactly the same as up to now,” said Íñigo Errejón, a deputy in Spain’s congress, leader of minor party Más País, and one of the scheme’s main proponents.

“We think that European funds have to serve to innovate and modernise our economy, and this happens by changing the production model in a way that is committed to productivity, health and the environment, and not continuing to do things as before.”

The pilot could be extended if the scheme is successful.

Last year, the Valencia regional government drew up a roadmap to move to a four-day week, which included subsidising companies through transfers or reduced tax rates.

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