From Iceland — Pirates Re-Introduce Bill On Shorter Work Day

Pirates Re-Introduce Bill On Shorter Work Day

Published October 20, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Natsha Nandabhiwat

The Pirate Party has re-introduced a bill they submitted last year, calling for a full-time day to be reduced from eight hours to seven.

The bill in question is unchanged from its previous iteration, with the exception that, in addition to the Pirates and Social Democrat MP Sigríður Ingibjörg Ingadóttir signing on to it, it also has the support of Left-Green MP Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir.

The bill takes a simple approach, changing the definition of full time would be a matter of changing two numbers: a full work week would be defined as 35 hours instead of 40, and a full work day would be defined as 7 hours instead of 8.

The bill points out that other countries which have shorter full time work weeks, such as Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Holland and Norway, actually experience higher levels of productivity. At the same time, Iceland ranked poorly in a recent OECD report on the balance between work and rest, with Iceland coming out in 27th place out of 36 countries.

The bill also points out that a recent Swedish initiative to shorten the full time work day to six hours has been going well, with some Icelanders calling for the idea to be taken up here. In addition, the bill also cites gender studies expert Thomas Brorsen Smidt’s proposal to shorten it even further, to four hours.

The idea to shorten the full-time day received considerable public support when it was introduced earlier this year. How well the effort will fare this year remains to be seen.

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