The world’s largest ever trial of a four-day working week and decreased working time in Iceland was an “overwhelming success” and ought to be examined within the UK, researchers have stated.
Greater than 1 per cent of Iceland’s working inhabitants took half within the pilot programme which minimize the working week to 35-36 hours with no discount in total pay.
Joint evaluation by think-tanks in Iceland and the UK discovered that the trials, which ran from 2015 to 2019 and concerned greater than 2,500 individuals, boosted productiveness and wellbeing and are already resulting in everlasting modifications.
Icelandic commerce union federations, which collectively negotiate wages and situations for many Icelandic staff, have already begun to barter decreased working hours because of this.
The researchers estimate that on account of new agreements struck in 2019-2021 after the trials ended, 86 per cent of Iceland’s complete working inhabitants now both have decreased hours or flexibility inside their contracts to cut back hours.
The trials had been launched by Reykjavik metropolis council and the Icelandic nationwide authorities after stress from commerce unions and civil society teams.
Employees lined by the experiment included a mixture of nine-to-five staff and people on non-standard shift patterns – with workplaces together with workplaces, play-schools, hospitals, and social companies staff.
The joint evaluation, carried out by the think-tanks Autonomy within the UK and the Affiliation for Sustainability and Democracy (Alda) in Iceland, discovered that the well-being of employees who took half improved dramatically throughout a variety of indicators.
Perceived stress and burnout, in addition to well being and work-life stability had been considerably improved throughout virtually all teams.
And because of this, researchers say, productiveness and repair provision remained the identical or improved throughout the vast majority of workplaces included within the trial.
“The Icelandic shorter working week journey tells us that not solely is it attainable to work much less in fashionable instances, however that progressive change is feasible too,” stated Gudmundur D. Haraldsson, a researcher at Alda.
“Our roadmap to a shorter working week within the public sector ought to be of curiosity to anybody who needs to see working hours decreased.”
The trials had been designed to be revenue-neutral for each town council and the federal government that ran them.
Will Stronge, director of analysis at Autonomy, stated: “This research reveals that the world’s largest ever trial of a shorter working week within the public sector was by all measures an amazing success. It reveals that the general public sector is ripe for being a pioneer of shorter working weeks – and classes could be discovered for different governments.
“Iceland has taken an enormous step in the direction of the four-day working week, offering a fantastic real-life instance for native councils and people within the UK public sector contemplating implementing it right here within the UK.”
The thought of a 4 day week has some help within the UK, with 45 MPs from events together with from Labour, SNP, Plaid Cymru, the SDLP and the Inexperienced Social gathering signing an early day movement calling on the federal government to arrange a fee to look at the proposal.
A ballot printed in July final yr carried out by Survation discovered that 63 per cent of the general public help the concept of a 4 day week with no lack of pay, whereas solely 12 per cent oppose.