From 40 to 36 hours of work per week: “We had to hire one more employee to balance the shifts” – Herrera in COPE


Working fewer days a week and earning as much is the dream of many people. A dream that, from January 1, 2023, will come true in some small and medium-sized Spanish companies. It is a government pilot project which delimited the industrial sector and the consulting sector. Companies applying for this project they will be able to reduce their working time to 34 hours per week and maintain the wages of their employees. To compensate for employees’ downtime, companies They will receive aid of up to 200,000 euros. But, to benefit from it, they must maintain their working day at 34 hours a week for 2 years.

In other countries of the world, this system of working time reduction is not entirely clear. There were countries where it went well and others where it went badly. An example of this is Icelandwhat was one of the first countries where this model was implemented. Between 2015 and 2019 they were approved in this country two pilot projects to reduce the working week from 40 hours to 35. And the result was positive, not only was productivity maintained, but also increased, and the workers realized that they felt better.

In exchange, the UK, the project It didn’t go as well as expected. In said country, about 70 companies, with more than 3,000 employees, have tested during this year 2022 the reduction of the working day and, half of these workers say that Your productivity has increased but 15 percent think the situation has gotten worse. Other countries like Belgium, the United States and New Zealand have also reduced their working hours work.

According to the agreement between the government and Más País, some will be awarded 10 million euros so that some 60 or 70 industrial SMEs can benefit from this working time reduction measure. Companies wishing to take part in this experiment must submit your application to the EOI Foundation, which depends on the Ministry of Industry. A commission will be responsible for choosing the companies that will participate and, in order to choose them, they will take into account the economic viability of the company, by how much the working day will be reduced, the increase in their productivity and how the company implement the pilot program. Aid (10 million euros) They will be distributed until the budget is exhausted.

In Spain, some companies have already opted for this work model, as is the case of the company ‘Toldos Porriño’in Pontevedra. The owner of this company, Daniel Magaz, counted on ‘Herrera in COPE’ What have you got with this day’s work? “Since September of last year.” “Right now we are doing two shifts. We have one shift that works Monday to Thursday and another Tuesday to Friday, 9 hours a day,” he adds. This means that the working day of this company has been reduced from 40 hours to 36 hours per week. “We had to hire one more employee to balance the shifts,” Daniel explained.

The reason why Daniel took the decision to reduce the working hours of his employees was that he had seen that this working model had worked in the countries of the North for several years. “I considered the possibility of doing it in my company”, Explain. “We started going in circles. the pandemic arrived and we had to postpone it. Yes, Once the pandemic is over, we take it back,” adds Daniel.

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