Nearly 20 Irish businesses are joining an international trial of the four-day working week next year.
The Four Day Week Ireland campaign is this morning presenting its plans for the pilot campaign to the Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
The programme will see Irish businesses joining others in countries like the US, Canada and New Zealand in trialling a four-day week for six months.
The companies that sign up will be supported with businesses training, mentoring and advice from companies all over the world that have already made the change.
Kevin Callinan, General Secretary of the trade union Fórsa, which is part of the Four Day Week Ireland campaign told Newstalk that it is all about working smarter.
“The whole model of the four-day week we are campaigning for is 100% productivity over 80% of the time,” he said.
“That is what has been proven to work. That is the idea of the trial – to show how this can actually make a real difference that benefits employers and staff but also, in doing so, is better for the economy is better for society and is better for the environment.”
He said the campaign has spent the last two years pushing for a “gradual, steady and managed transition to a shorter working week in all sectors of the economy.”
He said the idea is gaining momentum in countries across the world and encouraged as many Irish companies as possible to sign up to the trial.
“We have 17 employers committed to doing it next year,” he said.
“The €150,000 the Government has committed to research is very welcome but we need now employers across the private, public and voluntary sectors to trial it next year, so we have a good assessment of the economic, social and environmental benefits.”
Earlier this year, Dublin City Councillors unanimously backed plans for a four-day working week pilot programme for council workers.
Meanwhile, an Irish business that switched to a four-day working week nearly two years ago told Newstalk it has seen big increases in profits, sales and productivity.