The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism will launch before the end of the first half of the year the call for aid for companies that promote the four-day working day (32 hours a week) within the framework of the pilot project agreed between the Government and More Country, as Europa Press has been informed by sources from the Department headed by Reyes Maroto.
Belgium agrees to be able to concentrate the working week in four days without reducing hours
To finance this pilot project, which aims to reduce the working day without loss of salary for workers, the General State Budget for 2022 includes an item of 10 million euros. However, this budget could be increased if the reception of the business fabric is good, according to Industry.
The project will grant public aid, on a competitive basis, for companies that voluntarily present a plan to reduce the working hours of their workers and will offer subsidies for the innovation of production processes, new hires and training resources, according to ‘Digital Economy’ .
According to the calculations of Más País, some 160 companies could take advantage of the incentives to reduce the working day to four days, which would benefit more than 3,000 employees in the first edition of the program.
One of the objectives with which this pilot experience was born is to assess the needs of the business fabric, whether it is the need for more personnel, consulting functions or planning tasks for its activity.
In this way, the project will offset these costs to the companies that benefit from the future call for aid, by giving them the incentive to rehearse without losses a measure that, according to Más País, will improve productivity despite reducing the working hours of employees .
The Passage of Belgium
The federal government of Belgium gave the green light in the early hours of last Monday to a reform of its labor market that will allow the hours of the working week to be concentrated in four days, instead of the current five.
It is a concentration of working hours, not a reduction, as the More Country project and the Government intend and as the CCOO and UGT unions defend, which aspire to a weekly working day of 32 hours.
In the case of Belgium, the change allowed by its labor reform will not imply a reduction in the hours worked, since Belgian workers will only be able to work one day less per week if they increase the number of daily hours worked. Thus, the reform contemplates a maximum condition of 9.5 hours of work per day, extendable to 10 hours, prior agreement between the company and the unions.
Reduce the day, do not concentrate it
After the approval of the Belgian reform, CCOO warned that the 4-day working week without reducing the hours worked “in no case favors conciliation”, so the debate should focus on the reduction and redistribution of the working week.
Applying the Belgian reform to the Spanish case, where weekly working hours are 40, would imply working days of 10 hours, to which commuting and lunch would have to be added.
“This measure does not favor conciliation even if you win a day, it is impossible to reconcile like this. In addition, this type of measure can have a very negative impact on the health of workers, both in terms of physical and mental health”, warns from CCOO.
For its part, the UGT has stated that it “will fight” so that the 32-hour workweek “becomes a reality in the short term for all workers.”
Pepe Álvarez’s union has made it clear that the Belgian reform “has nothing to do” with what the organization defends: reducing the weekly working day to 32 hours.