The Belgians have done it: it is now possible to work only four days a week, for the same salary. The four-day week, the idea is gaining ground in other European countries, but in France, it is still in its infancy.
Article written by
Reading time : 1 minute.
It is a major reform of the labor market called “the deal for employment”. And that’s no joke: Belgians can indeed choose their working time, the number of days worked in the week, four or five. The number of weekly hours remains the same: 38 hours per week. Private sector employees and civil servants who opt for the four-day week will therefore have to work longer days: 9.30 a.m. per day to free up the fifth day.
>> 4-day week: 64% of French employees are ready to take the plunge
A working time that can even be modulated according to the weeks: this measure has been designed for parents who have their children in joint custody. We can work more one week, and less the following week. For example, 42 hours the week when we don’t have the children, and 34 hours the week when we have to take care of them.
However, conditions must be met to obtain this arrangement of working time. The request must be validated by his employer, who may refuse it. But he will have to justify himself in writing within one month in order to determine if this organization is not compatible with the organization of the team or the nature of the tasks to be accomplished. Small precision: the employee who passes to the week of four days, therefore who lengthens his working days, will not be able to work overtime on the fifth day.
The four-day week is definitely in the air with some of our neighbours. Until December, 70 English companies are testing the four-day week, with 9.30 a.m. working days. In Spain, 200 companies are testing the 32 hours paid 40 over four days until 2025.
In France, only a few companies offer this option to their employees. According to Directorate for the coordination of research, studies and statistics (Dares), only 2.4% of full-time employees work between 32 and 35 hours. When she was Minister of Labor, the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, explained that, according to her, this measure could not be imposed “from above” and that it should remain a choice of companies.