From Iceland — City Council Approves Looking Into Shorter Work Day

City Council Approves Looking Into Shorter Work Day

Published May 26, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Natsha Nandabhiwat

Reykjavík city council has approved a proposal to research the feasibility of a 7-hour work day.

Vísir reports that the proposal, submitted by the Left-Greens, would not immediately shorten the full-time work day from eight hours to seven. Rather, a focus group will be formed to research whether shortening the work day is possible.

In particular, the focus group will look into the effects a shortened work day would have on health, happiness, the working environment and service, both in terms of quality and costs. The group will be comprised of experts in the fields of labour rights, health, human relations, and some city council members. The group will be expected to submit their findings before October 1 of this year.

As reported, Guðrún Hafsteinsdóttir, the director of the Federation of Icelandic Industries, has already floated the idea of a seven-hour work day, telling reporters, “We have, for example, a lot of break hours, a lot of pauses in the working day. If people are ready to shorten those things, and shorten their working day, but produce the same amount of returns, then I don’t think employers will be against it.”

Gothenburg, Sweden is currently experimenting with a six-hour work day.

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