|Leader of the Reason Party, Fiona Patten MP, has today announced her innovative plan for a four day work week in Victoria.
“It is an idea that has been trialed overseas with resounding success and should be tested here” Ms Patten said.
New Zealand company Perpetual Guardian’s trial of a four-day working showed that employees felt better about their jobs — all while maintaining the same level of productivity. 78 percent of their employees said they were better able to manage their work-life balance and the results showed a 7 per cent drop in stress levels.
“The New Zealand trial was prompted by research that suggests modern workers are only productive for about three hours in a working day. The 4 day work week is a concept that already has widespread support in Australia” Ms Patten said.
Research across 8 countries conducted by workforce Institute Kronos, found Australians are the least content with the standard five-day working. 47% of Australians desired a four-day work week.
“With no loss of productivity and the advantages of improved employee satisfaction, less time lost to sick leave and better work life balance, this can be a real win-win” Ms Patten said.
The Reason Party state election policy proposal is for one discreet twelve month trial in a single government department. The department would remain ‘open for business’ Monday to Friday, with the policy objectives achieved via flexible working conditions and rostering. It is anticipated that employees would maintain 95% of their full time salaries and sacrifice some holiday leave and sick leave entitlements in exchange one less day of work per week.
“The sweet spot we hope to achieve in this policy is a balance that benefits both staff and employers. It will significantly improve staff conditions, happiness and their hourly rate of pay whilst decreasing staffing costs, all without lowering productivity”.
“If the results are favourable, then it is a concept that should appeal to the private sector – and we can look at how we expand. We know that this plan is not suitable for every industry, but many could stand to benefit” Ms Patten said.
This policy forms part of a suite of future focused business initiatives proposed by Ms Patten, which also include cuts to tax and red tape for small business.
“We are a forward looking party and recognise that technology is changing the shape of our economy” Ms Patten said.
“We’re not afraid of change, we’re planning for it.”