The four-day work "spreads"

In which countries is the four-day work introduced?

ergasia ergazomenoi etaireia grafeio

Four days of work, three days of rest and more free time with the family. And all this with the same salary. To most employees, this all sounds like an elusive dream. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.

Belgium introduces four-day work, but keeps the number of weekly working hours constant. Employees have the right to choose whether to complete their hours in four or five days. According to Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Croix, the goal is to strengthen the capacity of the economy and to better combine the profession with the family.

Some other countries or companies have tried or are considering a new business model that is said to benefit the economy and employees:


From 2015 to 2019 Iceland tried four days of work while reducing working hours per week to 35 or 36 out of 40 without any pay cuts. 2.500 employees participated in the test. After the end of the test, trade unions and employers agreed to permanent cuts in working hours. About 86% of workers in Iceland are now entitled to four days' work.

Scotland & Wales

The four-day work is also being tested by Scotland, which is strengthening the participating companies with around 10 XNUMX million. There is also a public debate in Wales on limiting working days per week. Future Generations Local Government Commissioner Sophie Howe favored the four-day working day in principle for civil servants.


The four working days per week with fixed salaries were tested in Sweden in 2015 and opinions differ. Even the Swedish Left considers the implementation of the new work model to be too costly. Individual companies, however, that have already introduced the measure, remain faithful to it. For example, the Japanese carmaker Toyota, which for ten years now allows employees to work four instead of five days a week.


Finland also made world headlines for a few days on plans to dramatically reduce working hours. It is assumed that the northern European country would introduce both four-day work and six-hour daily work. However, according to German public television ARD, this was false news, which the Finnish government categorically denied.


At the request of the left-wing party Más País, Spain will pilot the four-day work. The experiment will involve 6.000 employees in 200 small and medium-sized enterprises, who, with the same pay, get the opportunity to extend the weekend by one day. The test will last at least one year. Unknown when it will start.

From start-ups to multinationals

In Germany, mainly start-ups are experimenting with four-day work. In other countries, such as Japan, giants like Microsoft have already begun testing and offering employees three-month weekends.

In New Zealand, the giant Unilever is trying out four days of paid work. If the experiment succeeds, then the new model will be adopted by the company's branches in other countries.