Spain to trial four-day working week in bid to prevent new outbreaks

SKY NEWS – Spain is planning to use EUR50 million (GBP43 million) in European Union (EU) funds to cut its working week to four days in a bid to prevent further coronavirus outbreaks.

The experiment is set to last for three years and will be funded by money from the EU’s massive COVID-19 recovery fund.

The money will compensate some 200 mid-size companies as they resize their workforce or reorganise production workflows to adapt to a 32-hour working week.

It will go towards subsidising all of the employers’ extra costs in the first year of the trial and then reduce the government’s aid to 50 per cent and 25 per cent each consecutive year.

Hector Tejero, a legislator with Mas Pais progressive party which is behind the initiative, denied it was using EU money for Spaniards to work less.

Tejero said, “It’s not using the European funds for Spaniards to work less – it’s about seeing how we can improve productivity and competitiveness of our companies.”

Some say a three-day weekend would lead to more consumption, especially in entertainment and tourism.

A waiter works at La Francachela restaurant in Madrid, Spain. Experimenting with cutting back one workday per week is about to go nationwide in Spain. PHOTO: AP