Swedish Town Testing Full Pay for 30-Hour Week

Gothenburg is apparently the place to be
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2014 12:53 PM CDT
Swedish Town Testing Full Pay for 30-Hour Week
Who wants to work til 5?   (Shutterstock)

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, Gothenburg, Sweden, may be the perfect place. That's because the town's government is initiating a pretty appealing sounding experiment: testing a 30-hour workweek, in which workers will be paid as if they're working full-time. The hope is that the six-hour days will bump up mental and physical well-being, increasing efficiency while reducing the number of sick days that are taken. The deputy mayor says the plan has been in the works for a while, though the opposition is dismissing it as a political ploy ahead of 2014 elections.

Regardless, it's going forward, with a somewhat scientific approach involving control and test groups. One unlucky department will stick with its regular schedule; the Independent reports by way of Sweden's Metro newspaper that the elderly care department will drop to 30 hours per week for a year, then the results will be compared. The Local reports that the mayor says a car factory in town recently tried the six-hour day, with positive results. But the Local in 2005 reported on another town, Kiruna, whose municipal employees logged six-hour days for 16 years before it gave up the approach in the absence of clear health or productivity benefits. (Read more five day workweek stories.)

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