MADRID – The 4-day working week (32 hours per week) seems a distant reality for most Spanish companies. Of the companies consulted, 73.5% do not consider a four-day working week feasible to introduce.
More than 60% of the self-employed also consider this option unrealistic. This is according to the latest Infoempleo Adecco report on labour supply and demand in Spain.
The debate on the 4-day work week continued into 2022 and continues to be a hot topic in Spain this year too. Several initiatives are underway. Among them is a call for subsidies for small and medium-sized industrial companies that reduce their working week by at least 10% and maintain their salary for two years. A 32-hour week trial has started in the Valencia region, and the Basque government is considering a similar measure.
The Minister of Labour is in favour of a reduction in working hours
The Minister of Labour, Yolanda Díaz, is one of the strong advocates of short-time work. A study commissioned by the ministry recommends, among other things, reducing the weekly working time from the current 40 hours to 37.5 in 2026 and to 32 over the next 9 years. Measures are also proposed regarding flexibility, productivity and health at work.
The main reason for companies to oppose this reduction in working hours is the lack of profit margin to maintain salaries. This is indicated by 41% of the organisations surveyed. Other reasons are the lack of productivity margin to write off one day a week (27.97%) and the inability to cover the 5th day with part-time employees (18.64%).
Employees do not share this perception. For 66.6% of them, it is possible to reach 32 hours while maintaining salaries. Those who do not consider it possible mainly believe that companies are not willing to cover that working time.
Also read: Valencia trials four-day working week