Finland's Prime Minister Shares Her Vision For A Four-Day Working Week
The idea of a four-day working week and whether it will boost productivity has long been discussed by workers, business owners and governments in countries all over the world.
And Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, has floated the idea that she'd like to one day see the Nordic country shorten their working week to four days comprising just six hours each - that's a mere 24-hour working week!
Her ideas for more flexibility was first expressed at a Social Democratic Party event panel last August when she was serving as Minister of Transport and Communications.
According to the Helsinki Times she said: "I believe this is the direction we'll move in going forward, although probably not in the immediate future.
"As productivity improves [and] technology advances, this should also be reflected in improvements in the situations of ordinary people and ordinary workers - in shorter working times and improved position and rights of workers".
In the Finnish Government´s program there is no mention about 4-day week. Issue is not on the Finnish Government's agenda. PM @marinsanna envisioned idea briefly in a panel discussion last August while she was the Minister of Transport, and there hasn't been any recent activity.
- Finnish Government (@FinGovernment) January 7, 2020
But despite hopes this would come to fruition soon, the Finnish government has no current plans to institute such a policy, not this year at least.
It said in a statement on Twitter: "In the Finnish Government´s program there is no mention about 4-day week. Issue is not on the Finnish Government's agenda. PM @marinsanna envisioned idea briefly in a panel discussion last August while she was the Minister of Transport, and there hasn't been any recent activity."
An official from Sanna's office confirmed to The Independent that the policy was "more of a future vision and a potential future goal for the Social Democratic Party (SDP)".
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So while her ideas may sound revolutionary, it may be a while before they are passed in the Finnish government, if at all.
Sanna is the second youngest head of government in the world and is the leader of a five party centre-left coalition which is all led by women.
It is regarded as a unique and inspiring government that manages to collaborate all party's views into government discussions. So it would be no surprise if such a government did introduce such a policy one day in the future.
It is not the first time Finland has considered making the working week more family-friendly. In 1996, workers were given the right to start or finish work three hours earlier or later under the Working Hours Pact.
It is no surprise, then, that Finland topped the list of The United Nations World Happiness Report in 2019.
Back in August last year, Microsoft Japan conducted a study on its employees which showed that sales were boosted by nearly 40 per cent when the company reduced hours to a four day week on full pay, according to the BBC.
If it makes us healthier, happier and gives us more time to watch Netflix (and spend time with loved ones, obvs) then we're all for it. UK next please?
An earlier version of this story suggested that the government were intending to implement this policy. The version was amended on 6th January to reflect there are currently no plans to introduce a four day working week in Finland.
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