“Red Foyer” - SPÖ for a pilot project for a four-day week in Austria

SPÖ wants to start a broad discussion process for voluntary reductions in working hours and pilot projects over the summer - four-day week, an international success model

Vienna (OTS / SK) - In the “Red Foyer” today, Friday, SPÖ federal party chairman, club chairwoman Pamela Rendi-Wagner and SPÖ social spokesman Josef Muchitsch urged the introduction of a voluntary, state-sponsored four-day week. This is “a sensible way to exit short-time work to secure employment,” said Rendi-Wagner, who emphasized that there should be no increase in unemployment after the end of short-time work. For Muchitsch, "the redistribution of working hours is the future", with Rendi-Wagner emphasizing that the reduction in working hours is an "employment engine" and has "proven to be a successful model" internationally. The SPÖ now wants to create the framework conditions in Austria to roll out the 4-day week. Rendi-Wagner and Muchitsch announced that they would like to start a broad discussion process with the parliamentary parties and interest groups for the funded four-day week in the summer in order to establish a pilot project with scientific support. This is also necessary in order to be able to withstand the international competition for skilled workers. ****

A year ago, Rendi-Wagner put forward the proposal for a voluntary, state-sponsored four-day week, now the SPÖ wants to push ahead with the implementation of the reduction in working hours. The advantages for everyone involved are obvious: “It's a win-win-win situation. For the public sector, because we secure jobs and create new ones; for companies in crisis that are supported and have productivity effects; and for employees who are healthier, more relaxed, more motivated and more satisfied, ”emphasized Rendi-Wagner. A voluntary four-day week could also promote the compatibility of work and family and protect the climate by reducing CO2 emissions.

“It's time to take the first step,” says Rendi-Wagner, referring to extremely successful pilot projects in New Zealand and Iceland. In Iceland, the pilot was "so successful that now 86 percent of Icelandic employees either already have a reduction in working hours or are given the opportunity to do so". Austria must not avoid these international future developments, “that is not good for the country; for the economy, the job market and competitiveness, ”said Rendi-Wagner, who emphasized that now is the right time to“ take the first step towards a four-day week ”. Rendi-Wagner is convinced: “In Austria, too, companies that introduce the subsidized four-day week will be among the winners. We want to create the framework for this. "

In view of the Corona crisis and the social and economic consequences, Muchitsch also emphasized that he wanted to “break new ground and implement new solutions in the fight against unemployment and in the competition for skilled workers”. "For us it is important that Austria also creates incentives to pick up companies who are still critical of the four-day week." Like Rendi-Wagner, Muchitsch also emphasized the advantages of reduced working hours: "The international results are unique: 20 Percent less working hours mean 40 percent more productivity, ”said the SPÖ social spokesman, who emphasized that the shortage of skilled workers is not a problem for companies with shorter working hours,“ because they are particularly attractive ”. Because employee satisfaction and efficiency would increase - "more free time, more family, more contribution to climate protection," emphasized Muchitsch.

“I can't always only ask employees to become more flexible. The world of work must also take this step, ”said Muchitsch, who urged the federal government not to look the other way. “Politicians have to create the framework conditions for specific sectors through legal regulations in order to pick up critics and start pilot projects for the four-day week,” said Muchitsch. (Final) ls / bj

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