Seventy percent of Spanish companies are against a four-day working week

by Lorraine Williamson
four-day working week

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. 

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Employers’ vision 

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%). 

Employee vision 

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

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