Madrid Belgium’s decision to allow a four-day working week to be brought back to the present time brings the debate about reducing the working day to 32 hours a week, without any major European country currently launching a legislative initiative to respect. In Greece, for a year there was the possibility of concentrating working time into four days as long as the mandatory 40 hours per week were met.
35 working hours per week in France is the shortest, with no intention of cutting it to 32 hours in this expensive country. For its part, in the UK, more than thirty companies will start a six-month pilot program in June, in which their employees will work 32 hours a week spread over four shifts. In Portugal, the four-day week was one of the election promises of the Socialist Party, which won the last parliamentary elections less than a month ago.
In Germany, in Bavaria, there are companies experimenting with the four days of the week, which has won praise from the metal union IG Metal, while employers are more skeptical due to the cost involved and the current shortage of specialized personnel in some fields.
Finally, reducing the working day in the Spanish state from 40 to 32 hours has been a demand for unions for years. A few companies – mainly technology companies with highly qualified employees – are implementing it, while others have chosen to focus on time and some have offered reduced working hours in exchange for reduced salaries.