UncategorizedApril 2, 20240

Is a Four Day Workweek That Far Fetched?

Copy of 04.2024 Kristi's Korner

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland… What do these countries have in common? They have all moved away from the 40 hours workweek, some even to a 32-hour workweek. And close on their heels are countries like Australia, Canada, Iceland, and Japan that are legislating or piloting shorter workweek programs.

So, is the US moving to a 4-day workweek that far-fetched?

According to the Thirty-Two Hour Workweek Act, being introduced to the Senate by Senator Bernie Sanders, this could be coming for us faster than many thought.

This act, as it is currently written, proposes mandating lowering the standard workweek from 40 hours to 32 hours over a 4-year period, which would also set a new standard for the overtime threshold. Additionally, overtime would be payable after 8 hours worked in a day and double time would be paid after 12 hours in a day.

Kristi Opinion… I doubt it will make it all the way through, as written, if at all. And definitely not if our administration changes with this year’s election.

However, another Kristi opinion, we’ve been talking about this for a while and I don’t think it is going away. Do we need to panic as business owners and leaders? No. Do we need to think about how this would impact us and how we can mitigate risk and protect the bottom line? Yes.

I think we will have to rethink productivity, and performance management will become more imperative than ever. Benefits and incentives will also need to be looked at. And how does this impact salaried versus hourly employees? I sure wish I had the answers.

I hope it wasn’t frustrating that I got you on the edge of your seat and then didn’t “tie it up with a bow”. I just don’t have the answers, and neither does anyone else. But I wanted to make sure it was on your radar so we can all watch it together.

We’ll keep you posted. And please reach out if you want to chat about this or anything else people-y.

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