Scotland To Introduce Four-Day Workweek Trial

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Scotland announced it will implement plans to shift to a four-day workweek on a trial basis, Fox Business reported.

The trial is the result of a campaign promise from the Scottish National Party (SNP). It was an initiative SNP campaigned on to increase employee productivity and happiness. Scotland becomes the fifth country that has at least experimented with a four-day workweek in their country. Spain, Iceland, Sweden, Ireland, Japan and New Zealand have also tried. (RELATED: Utah Ends 4-Day Work Week Experiment)

Employees will experience a 20% reduction in work hours without anyone’s salary being reduced as a result, according to Forbes. The SNP has pledged to contribute 10 million Great Britain Pounds (the equivalent of $13.8 million U.S. Dollars) to cover the financial burden associated with Scotland’s shift to the 4-day workweek, Fox Business reported.

The reduction of hours allegedly provides a number of benefits in addition to increased productivity such as great sense of value and overall better attitude among workers.

A recent poll in Scotland revealed that 80% of respondents supported the initiative. Supporters of the initiative felt that the shift to less weekly work hours would be beneficial. Moreover, they also cited the positive results that accompanied other countries such as Iceland, Japan, and New Zealand, who implemented four-day workweek policies, Forbes reported.

Spain implemented a 32-hour workweek without any reduction in employees’ salaries over three years. Such a program is similar to what Scotland is experimenting with. Moreover, some countries are not eliminating a day of work during the week but instead shortening each work day. In Sweden’s case, the hours were chopped from each day, resulting in five days of six hour shifts while others embrace free afternoons. Iceland went a different route with this policy. Instead, workers there enjoy a three-day weekend.

Any financial losses by employers associated with this transition will be financed by the government,  as the government will provide employers with any financial losses associated with the switch to a four-day schedule, according to Forbes Magazine.

At the moment, Scotland’s transition would mimic Iceland’s and Scots would benefit from three-day weekend.