The Spanish Government’s plan to test the four-day working week at the national level has taken another step in its long and slow path towards the publication of the ministerial order that will regulate the aid. The Ministry of Industry just launched a public consultation so that citizens can send their suggestions in this regard, and it specifies some details that were unknown until now, such as the size of the companies that may request it or the sectors of action.
The public consultation. The document released by Industry indicates that the aid is aimed at increasing productivity in small and medium-sized industrial companies through pilot projects to reduce working hours. Therefore, large companies and the service sector, where more private tests of the four-day work week have been carried out to date, would be excluded from the subsidy. The text also specifies that the reduction in working hours must be adopted without cutting the salary of employees.
“According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), more working hours do not translate into higher productivity. This organization measures labor productivity in each country using the GDP per hour worked indicator. These data reflect that there are countries that work fewer hours and, nevertheless, are more productive. For this reason, it is considered opportune to promote the realization of a series of pilot projects to reduce the working day that imply a boost to productivity in small and medium-sized Spanish industrial companies”, the document collects.
150 companies. In addition to the data collected in the public consultation, both The Newspaper of Catalonia as The sixth They point out that ministerial sources calculate that the aid will end up reaching some 150 SMEs. It should be remembered that the amount allocated to this project is 10 million euros, a figure included in the 2022 General State Budget for this purpose.
According to these same sources, the idea of Industry is to give between 2,000 and 3,000 euros per worker assigned to the pilot program.
what is not known. These are, for the moment, all the novelties of the pilot project of the Government of Spain for the four-day working week. The approximate date on which the Government intends to start it, the conditions that companies must meet to request the aid, the objectives that must be met and how the Ministry of Industry plans to monitor the progress of the program are still unknown.
Nor has it transpired whether the reduction in the working day will be, necessarily, to 32 hours per week, or if companies can apply intermediate reductions, such as the 36 hours per week that More Country proposed last February. Nor if they will have to be grouped into four days or the companies and their employees will be able to choose to work fewer hours per day from Monday to Friday.
Differences with Valencia. The pilot program that is defining, little by little, the Government of Spain is, with each step it takes, moving further away from its counterpart in the Valencian Community. As we have in Xataka, the one launched by the Generalitat just a month ago does not make distinctions by company size or by sector, and to be eligible for it, companies only have to meet a series of basic requirements such as the feasibility of reducing the day in the organization or write a project specifying how they intend to increase productivity by working fewer hours.
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