Subsidies for companies testing four-day work weeks in Spain
The Spanish government has launched a call for €9.6 million in grants for small and medium-sized businesses that want to pilot a four-day work week. This pilot project is similar to previous projects in the UK and the city of Valencia, where companies can experience the impact of reducing working hours without affecting employee salaries.
conditions Grant invitation It requires participating companies to receive public funding of up to 90% of the workweek reduction scheme, up to a maximum of €200,000 per company. If all grants are awarded to the cap, 48 companies will be selected for the pilot project.
Companies wishing to participate in the program must commit to reducing their employees’ work week by at least 10% over a period of at least two years. In addition, these reductions may only apply to employees who have a permanent employment contract to work full time. The wages of employees should not be affected by the reduction in the working week and the reduction should be applied proportionately on the basis of the gender composition of the workforce. Interested SMEs have until May 13, 2023 to submit their applications.
To participate in the program, companies must have at least a certain number of employees in the workforce to which the procedure applies. For small and medium businesses with less than 20 employees, the reduction in working hours must apply to at least 30% of the employees, while companies with more than 21 employees must apply the measure to at least 25% of their employees.
In addition to reducing the working week, the selected SMEs should take organizational or training measures to optimize working time and improve productivity over the life of the project. They should also have indicators to assess the development of the company’s productivity through regular evaluations.
A pilot project launched by the Spanish government contains some similar examples. In the UK, the government has launched a similar scheme in which 61 companies can experience a shorter working week. Employees have responded positively to the procedure, with 40% stating that they experience less stress and sleep better. The companies themselves were also satisfied with the results and chose to keep the abbreviated workweek after the pilot project, with the exception of five cases.
The latest and closest experiment was recently launched in the municipality of Valencia. During the April and May 2023 holidays, the city will operate for four consecutive weeks with only four days off. The City Council will take this opportunity to assess how a reduced work week affects productivity, leisure time, mobility, economy and health.
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