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Dublin City Council passes motion calling for pilot of four-day week for staff

Councillors across parties supported the motion to try shortening the working week.

Image: Shutterstock

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has passed a motion calling for a pilot of a four-day work week for its staff.

Councillors unanimously supported looking at a trial scheme for a shorter working week at this evening’s monthly Council meeting.

The motion stated: “This council calls on the Chief Executive to engage with the relevant trade unions for City Council staff with a view to piloting, and introducing, a four day working week.”

There was no dissent to the idea at the meeting and the motion was passed without a vote.

Tweet by @Cllr Dunny Source: Cllr Dunny/Twitter

Councillor Kevin Donoghue, who proposed the motion, said: “I think, in light of the things that we know about a four-day week, we are in a position where I think it’s important for us and Dublin City Council to explore the possibilities of how a four-day week might work for our staff.”

Speakers for Fianna Fáil, the Green Party, Fine Gael, Labour, the Social Democrats, Sinn Féin, People Before Profit and the Independent group all indicated support for the motion.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Deirdre Heney said the possibility of running a pilot was “something well worth doing”.

“Certainly, it seems to me that, in my own experience, if I have something to do on a particular day that was going to take me away from my work that reduces the amount of time I have to do my work, I do an awful lot more on the days that I have available to me, so that might mean that I will be happier on the days I have off,” Heney said.

Green Party Councillor Hazel Chu, at the first full Council meeting since her term as Lord Mayor ended, said that we have had an “unprecedented challenge” during the pandemic “when it comes to how we work and how people interact with remote working, as well as being in the office and the days of working”.

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“Reducing it to four days will mean better productivity in terms of how physical and mental wellbeing is looked after, but that also impacts climate change, because you would lower carbon emissions when travelling if you are only going for a four-day week,” Chu said.

Last month, the government launched a six-month trial programme of a four-day working week, allocating €150,000 to researching the idea.

Organisations participating in the scheme can receive supports, training and mentoring on how to implement the shorter week and employees should not experience loss of pay.

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