Labour backs call for Four Day Week pilot in public service

Senator Annie Hoey image
22 June 2023
  • Gains to be made in health and wellbeing
  • Gender equality and environmental improvements

Labour Senator Annie Hoey has backed calls for a Four Day Week pilot to be rolled out in the Irish public service.

Speaking following an Oireachtas briefing chaired by Senator Hoey (on Wednesday, 21st June), Senator Hoey said its time to have a national conversation on the gains that can be made by shifting to a four day week.

Senator Hoey said:

“I was delighted to chair an Oireachtas briefing on the Four Day Week this week. There is global evidence now that four day weeks are good for workers and good for businesses bottom lines.

“83% of organisations that took part in a recent pilot programme have agreed to keep the four day week in place. Women report a significantly higher improvement in life satisfaction: an increase of 1.56 points and women also indicated that their sleep time increased by over one hour as a result.

“All workers reported higher work-life and work-family balances including fewer sleep problems, higher job satisfaction and lower turnover intentions.

“We need to be brave in the face of changes to labour laws and workplace practices. We’ve seen the impact that global shifts can have in terms of widening the labour market base.

“The shift to flexible work overnight during Covid opened up the workplace to many women, people with disabilities, people with caring responsibilities. A four day work week can do the same.

“A four day week can go further in addressing the gender inequalities that remain in our workplaces. Right now, 30% of women workers are in part time work, compared with just over 10% of men part-time workers. If we are serious about trying to challenge gender inequalities in the workplace and addressing the gender pay gap, a four day work week must be seriously on the cards.

“The world of work is rapidly changing and all the evidence suggests that we are ready for our next step in securing a better work life balance for people – the introduction of a four day week.”

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