Lawmakers In Maryland Propose New Program For Four-Day Workweek

Legislators in Maryland are currently discussing a new proposal in which they would encourage all government agencies, alongside private employers, to start using a four-day workweek.

New pieces of legislation for a four-day week of eight-hour days, a plan in which compensation would not be reduced from the overall former levels, have seen much more traction over the past few years in the wake of a massive worldwide study which discovered that earning got higher in all participating companies. Several members of the Maryland General Assembly, alongside State Sen. Shelly Hettleman (D), introduced the new Four–Day Workweek Act in the hopes of “promoting, incentivizing, and supporting” experimentation with the new system.

“There’s growing evidence that reducing work hours boosts both happiness and productivity. Let’s try it,” expressed State Del. Vaughn Stewart (D) via social media.

The new piece of legislation would give state tax credits up to a sum of $750,000 per year for any business which will go along with the plan and reduce at least 30 employees from a standard 40-hour week down to a 32-hour week without any “reduction in pay or benefits.” This new program, which would be under the management of the Maryland Department of Labor, could likewise let all government agencies take part, as well as keep track of all their results.

Those in favor of this new four-day workweek program emphasize the benefits of the arrangement for both work-life balance and employee wellbeing. Close to 45% of workers cite lackluster flexibility when speaking about why they departed their previous jobs, while close to 48% mention difficulties with childcare, as summarized from a survey carried out by Pew Research Center.

“Work time reduction has long been promoted as a multiple dividend reform, with the potential to bring social, economic and climate benefits,” explained the researchers. “Social benefits include less stress and burnout for employees, as well as more time for family, community, and self. Economic benefits depend on the form of work time reduction. Where it is accomplished without loss or even gains in productivity, it is beneficial for companies’ bottom lines.”

The additional findings highlight that issued for management from flexible work arrangements is noticeable to employers with close to 85% of business leaders stating that the recent shift to hybrid work “has made it challenging to have confidence that employees are being productive,” as explained by a recent release from Microsoft.

The World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland, recently hosted a panel event that discussed the idea of adopting a four-day workweek going forward. Dutch Employment Minister Karien van Gennip agreed that the idea is still “very much a discussion for the upper class” because a number of occupations would still need the standard arrangement.

“If you look at many of the jobs that are service jobs, they are still in-person service jobs,” stated the official. “It’s much more difficult to go toward those flexibility hours and also, if you would go to a four-day work week, if you consider the discussions we also have on minimum wage and on living wage, then you have to be quite serious about what it means for the pay per hour.”

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