Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

In Germany, they are thinking about switching to a four-day working week

The head of the German labor Ministry, Hubertus Heil, is confident that reducing the working week to four days can help overcome the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier, the head of the industrial trade Union IG Metall, Joerg Hoffman, suggested thinking about switching to the new regime, as it could be “a response to structural changes in sectors such as the automotive industry”, and will save jobs.

Reducing working hours with partial compensation of wages is an appropriate measure to combat the crisis, Heil believes. However, the President of the German Institute for economic research (DIW), Marcel Fratzscher, notes that, in his opinion, the introduction of the “four-day period” is possible, but only without compensation for wages.

In the second quarter, the country’s GDP fell due to the coronavirus pandemic by 10.1 percent compared to the previous quarter. Unemployment remained at 6.4 percent in July.

Earlier, some experts said that the coronavirus pandemic could be a step towards establishing a four-day working week in Russia. In 2019, the Ministry of labor noted that such an initiative will contribute to protecting the health of employees and improving the quality of life.

However, Alexander Safonov, Vice-rector of the Financial University under the government of Russia, said that the introduction of a four-day working week could lead to a decrease in Russian incomes and productivity. He added that this will also negatively affect the competitiveness of the Russian economy.