Four-day week has a “very long road” to go before it is implemented
The pilot project coordinator of the four-day week, Pedro Gomes, has said the project “is a first step on a journey that will take many years to complete.”
The four-day week still has “a very long way to go” before it is implemented in Portugal, and it is too early to say how it should be legislated, said Pedro Gomes, coordinator of the pilot project on the subject.
Pedro Gomes, author of the book “Friday is the New Saturday”, was invited by the Government to design and coordinate the pilot project for the four-day week in Portugal.
The pilot project for the four-day week, to be presented by the Government at the meeting of the Economic and Social council, next Friday, “is a first step on a journey that will take many years to complete”, the economist and professor said.
“It needs to be very clear in Portuguese public opinion that the path is very, very, very long and that we started without making any promises” regarding the date of its implementation in Portugal, added Pedro Gomes.
Regarding the way in which the four-day week should be legislated, the economist considers that “it is still too early” to say whether it should be implemented in general law or collective sectoral agreements, indicating that only after evaluating the effects of the pilot project in companies and for workers will it be possible to proceed.
The pilot experience will take place “on a small scale” so that we can learn how to make this change in Portugal and assess its effects “both on the productivity side of companies and on the well-being and physical and mental health of workers” , explained Pedro Gomes, stressing that there is a need for a “wide debate” on the matter.
“I hope that the results can inform the social partners – unions and employers – and also the political parties, so that after the broad debate that is already taking place in public opinion, then yes – they can think about whether it is worth following this path”, says the professor.
The participation of companies in the pilot project will be “voluntary and reversible, always ensuring the rights of workers (without salary cuts)”.