Senator Nash leading push for four day working week to be introduced to Ireland

A local Senator is leading the push for businesses to introduce four day working weeks in order to boost productivity.

Labour’s employment spokesman, Ged Nash, said the possibility of a shorter working week must be explored because workers are constantly expected to be on duty.

Last November, a number of Irish trade unions, including Forsa, said that reduced working time was emerging as one of the central issues in international debates about the future of work.

Now former local TD Nash is calling for it to be looked at in greater detail with the possibility of it becoming a reality sooner rather than later.

The Drogheda man told The Irish Daily Mirror there is evidence to suggest that a higher quality of work is carried out over a four day working week rather than five days.

He said: “The world of work is changing rapidly and workers are increasingly being made feel like they need to be constantly available to their employers.

“In order to make work more productive and to ensure family life and society benefits from advances in technology I think it is timely that we examine how our working time laws at Irish and EU level can better serve workers and industry by providing workers with a better work-life balance.

“With workers constantly being expected to be ‘on’, there is evidence to suggest that quality of work and productivity can suffer as a result.

“Employees and employers don’t benefit from this kind of practice.”

In New Zealand, Perpetual Guardian (a firm which manages trusts, wills and estate planning), introduced a four-day working week last March as a trial over two months and later reported a jump in productivity and a massive decrease in stress among its 240 workers.

Senator Nash added: “Fórsa here in Ireland and the TUC in the UK have called for an examination into how a four day working week would benefit workers and the economy.

“The Labour Party is doing similar work in regards to this as we examine the challenges around the future of work.

“As we move closer and closer to full employment, we have to look at the pressures on workers, especially younger workers and examine how our current laws can be changed to benefit workers, society and industry.”