Australia could take a national test of the four-day workweek to see how it improves the lives of those who juggle work and caregiving responsibilities.
A congressional committee recommended a four-day workweek trial based on a federally-backed “100:80:100” model. This is a model in which a worker works 80% of his week but still keeps his entire salary and remains fully productive.
The pilot will be industry-wide and will be conducted in partnership with Australian universities.
The four-day-week model has been successfully piloted by companies in Australia and abroad, with participants reporting increased productivity, work-life balance, health and well-being, and normalization of care as part of work. I’m here.
The pilot is being touted as one of several measures aimed at helping people better balance work and caregiving responsibilities.
The Senate Select Committee on Work and Care also called for stronger penalties for working long hours, including setting up a “right to disconnect” off-duty hours, including calling for the Fair Work Committee to work 38 hours a week. proposed a review of
Their proposal would limit employers from contacting employees outside of work hours, unless it is an emergency.
Commission chair Barbara Pocock said Australia is an anomaly internationally when it comes to supporting workers who are responsible for their care.
“We are way too far behind,” said Senator Greens.
“And we are paying the price for labor supply, stressed workers and gender inequality.”
Senator Pocock, who commented on the four-day workweek trial, said more flexibility could actually improve productivity.
Nonprofit Momentum Mental Health has been experimenting with the 100:80:100 model with positive results and plans to extend this policy beyond the six-month trial period.
The organization’s chief executive, Deborah Bailey, said the shorter workweek has improved productivity and staff well-being.
She said workers with caring responsibilities were able to attend appointments and spend time with their children and elderly parents without overdoing it before work or during lunch breaks.
“We’ve empowered people to take on caring roles, and we’ve found that they’re more productive,” Bailey told AAP.
Increased productivity, she said, is possible by cramming more into the standard workday, including fewer and shorter meetings.
Other proposals in the comprehensive report, which has the support of labor senators, include finding a path to increasing federally-funded paid parental leave to a maximum of 52 weeks.
Primary caregivers are currently entitled to 18 weeks of leave, but Labor pledged last year to extend their leave entitlement to 26 weeks.
The committee also called for wage increases for child care, disability and aged care workers, and the right to a predictable and stable roster.
“Work-life balance is a distant dream for too many people,” said Senator Pocock.
“Especially those living the nightmare of last-minute shift changes that make it impossible to find care for loved ones and children.”