Riverside Congressman Mark Takano has proposed new legislation that will reduce workweeks from 40 to 32 hours.
The concept of a 4-day workweek might shift from a utopian dream to reality in the near future as Congressman Mark Takano proposes a new bill. This new legislation would trim 40-hour workweeks to 32 hours and compensate workers for any overtime. With the concept gaining momentum around the globe, Takano believes it’s high time to relook the outdated Fair Labor Standards Act —which hasn’t been updated since 1940. While this may not shorten workweeks, it may improve pay, employee wellbeing and get more people into the job market.
“At a time when the nature of work is rapidly changing, it’s incumbent upon us to explore all possible means of ensuring our modern business model prioritizes productivity, fair pay, and an improved quality of life for workers,” said Takano in a press release. “I am introducing this legislation to reduce the standard workweek to 32 hours because – now more than ever – people continue to work longer hours while their pay remains stagnant. We cannot continue to accept this as our reality. Many countries and businesses that have experimented with a four-day workweek found it to be an overwhelming success as productivity grew and wages increased.
What does my 32 hour workweek bill do?
Swipe to find out. pic.twitter.com/HJc8PAq5t0
— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) July 28, 2021
Takano’s bill has already been endorsed by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the National Employment Law Project (NELP), and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW).
While the pandemic brought a tidal wave of catastrophes, it did give rise to flexible working hours and shattered the notion that working remotely reduced productivity. Businesses and governments around the world, including Ireland, Spain, Iceland, New Zealand, and Canada, have piloted 4-day workweek programs with highly positive results. Reports have shown up to a 40% increase in productivity, reduced sick days, lowered unemployment rates and workers have cited an improved sense of wellbeing. In some cases, studies have shown a correlating drop in environmental impact.
In the last two years, more countries and companies have been experimenting with shorter work weeks, even in countries with a notorious hustle-culture like Japan. Spearheading the revolution is the 4-Day Work Week Global. The non-profit organization works alongside think tank Autonomy and researchers at various institutions, including Cambridge University, Boston College, Oxford University. Funds raised through the foundation are channeled into research around workplace practices, the future of work and wellbeing. The data is collected and analyzed to design a healthier modern economic system for the modern world.
Pilot programs of the 4-Day Work Week have already been rolled out in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. This 6-month trial works as a coalition with companies and governments, where 8 hours of work are removed without any reduction in pay. During this trial period, organizations will have unparalleled access to the expertise, tools and resources to carry out the test. There’s training, mentoring, networking and researching involved in the process, all of which gets used to further improve practices.