Four day working week pilot has mixed results

 In Companies, Labour, News

From 100 companies which piloted a four-day working week test, only 21 saw the six month test period through to the end.

However, 11 companies decided to extend the pilot test within the same format and four decided to pull out and go back to a five-day working week. As for the others, they will use a ‘pic ’n mix’ format to suit their own working models.

The regime was designed to reduce the working week by 12 hours worth 28% of their salaries on average. Staff did not suffer salary cuts.

The four-day working week test pilot was coordinated by the economist Pedro Gomes and researcher in human resources Rita Fontinha, with the test period running for six months between June and November, 2023 without any salary reduction or financial support from the State. The pilot was voluntary and companies could pull out at any time.

The project was promoted by the previous government and initially attracted the interest of 120 companies. However, in the end only 41 companies signed up, with 20 advancing but not all at the same time.

The majority of the companies were small and operating in Lisbon and Porto (companies with 20 employees or less), in sectors such as education, health, industry and consultancy; all privately managed, but some not-for-profit entities.