Thursday, December 1

Dell and Canon join the four-day work week in the Netherlands and the UK (but with different models)


The four-day work week, to say the least, arouses curiosity. So much so that some large companies are considering testing it to see if the model works. In Spain, Telefónica launched a pilot for some workers without much success, and Desigual established a reduction in working hours with a decrease in salary for its office staff, which it still maintains. Now, two big technology companies are going to join this test, although far from our border and with different models: Dell in the Netherlands and Canon in the United Kingdom.

Dell, with salary reduction. The American multinational has announced that all its employees in the Netherlands will be able to take advantage of a four-day work week, at a rate of 8 hours of work per day, according to information from Dell officials to The Registrar. Of course, with a reduction in salary proportional to that decrease, something that, as we already explained in Engadget, goes against the original idea of ​​the 32-hour week.

Apparently Dell has already been testing this model with some workers from its subsidiaries in Argentina and the Netherlands, and has now decided to extend it to all its employees in the latter country. According to those responsible for the multinational in Dutch lands, in the labor market of that State there are many professionals who prefer part-time contracts, for which they consider that this resolution will help them attract new profiles that do not want to work 40 hours at a time. week.

Canon, without lowering wages. Canon, for its part, is going to host a pilot that will begin in June in the United Kingdom, and that will last until December 2022, sponsored by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, Boston College and the global movement 4 Days Week Global, according to The Guardian. In addition to the Japanese, this test will be joined by another 60 companies based in the British Isles and will affect more than 3,000 workers.

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The British pilot will be more in line with the model defended by theorists of the four-day work week, among whom are some of those responsible for the 4 Days Week Global movement: reduce the working time of employees without lowering their pay and without that this, in theory, reduces the productivity of the company. The results in 2023 will tell if this last point is fulfilled.

Different models, different implications. Since the four-day workweek burst onto the national and international media landscape again (the original idea had already been theorized for many years), not all proposals and tests have been the same.

The defenders of the original model emphasize that a four-day work week can only be considered when the hours worked are reduced without affecting the workers’ salaries, because the greater rest of the employees will increase their productivity and this will cause the company not to notice the difference in your income statements. This is the option Canon will test.

However, employers have not seen it clearly, and many of those who have opened up to testing the model have done so with an option that does not pose any risk to their accounts from minute one: with a proportional salary reduction, or in some cases partial, to the decrease in hours worked. This is the case of Dell in the Netherlands and Telefónica and Desigual in Spain.

And two months ago, in February, Belgium opened a third way: a four-day working week at a rate of ten hours per day. In other words, work the same amount of work a smaller number of days with a higher daily load to be able to enjoy a longer weekend.

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