“We know first-hand from working parents and guardians that they were impatient for the extended parental leave which we introduced in our Parental Leave Act, which took effect this month.”
The Social Democrats today renewed calls for a national conversation on greater availability of a four-day working week along with government supports to get going with trials of the shorter week.
The party’s co-leader Róisín Shortall TD said:
“Better work-life balance is something we should be constantly striving for in order to reduce stress and absenteeism and achieve better work productivity. The idea of extending the availability of a shorter working week needs to be considered as part of a national conversation on how we handle technological change and new forms of work both as a society and as an economy.
““There are many benefits to a shorter working week, as the Four Day Week Ireland campaign coalition has highlighted today. There’s also a good deal of evidence elsewhere of the gains it can bring in all sectors of the economy – to businesses, the environment and society – as well as personal benefits to individual workers.
“We know first-hand from working parents and guardians that they were impatient for the extended parental leave which we introduced in our Parental Leave (Amendment) Act, which took effect this month. Most parents who contacted us said they planned to take the additional unpaid leave so they could spend more time with their children by working a four-day week.
“This is a conversation that the Social Democrats think is worth pursuing for so many reasons, chief among them being the recognition that people are far more than simply economic units slogging incessantly in a rat-race and wondering if this is as good as it gets. That’s why we are calling on the government to make this option available on a trial basis so that its impacts can be fully assessed.”
26th September 2019