February 27, 2021

Unilever tests in New Zealand the four-day work week with 100% of salary


The Anglo-Dutch manufacturer of consumer products Unilever will experiment in New Zealand from December 2020 and for a period of twelve months the implementation of the four-day work week, 80% of the usual working day, without applying salary cuts to those of its 81 employees in the country who join the initiative, as announced by the multinational.

Less stress, more productivity: the company that tried the four-day week embraces it forever

Less stress, more productivity – the company that tried the four-day week embraces it forever

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“Participating Unilever New Zealand employees will keep their salaries at 100% while working 80% of the time,” the company has indicated and reports the Europa Press agency. The company has stressed that workers will have the flexibility to determine “when and how they will work best within the new structure.”

The company has argued that, although initially the trial of the four-day workday is limited to New Zealand, where the Government is promoting this measure of labor organization, it will study the possibility of evaluating its impact at a broader level of looking to the future.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has proposed the four-day work week to boost tourism and the economy, as well as other more flexible work options to allow the reconciliation of families.

The managing director of Unilever New Zealand, Nick Bangs, has explained that the alteration of normal work practices as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has served as an impetus for the introduction of this novel organization of the work day.

“Our goal is to measure performance based on production, not time. We believe that the old ways of working are outdated and no longer fit for purpose,” Bangs said.

Unilever will collaborate with the Sydney University of Technology (UTS) School of Business in evaluating the qualitative results of the experiment. “We are eager to share the lessons of this experiment with other New Zealand companies, hoping to encourage others to reflect on the way they work,” added Bangs and reported the AFP agency.

The Anglo-Dutch multinational is not the first to take this step. New Zealand’s Perpetual Guardian, with 250 employees, applied the four-day week and ensures that its workers are more concentrated and more productive after the experiment, such as collects this report from The Guardian published in elDiario.es.

In Spain, there are movements that are demanding a four-day week, as 4SumaAmong the political parties, the initiative has been supported by Más País and Compromís, which presented an amendment to the General State Budgets. In unions it is also a measure that has been valued for years, for example The UGT has proposed it to face the automation of work and the economy.

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