Spanish minister supports three-day weekends

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THE NATIONAL Minister for Tourism and Technology, Alvaro Nadal, has advocated a four-day working week at a technology conference in Madrid.

Representatives from the government, technology companies and schools met at the Future Digital to discuss the impact new technology has had on employment, privacy and education.

Nadal opened the seminar by talking about the role of the public administration, the education sector and the importance of technological investment. At the end of his speech he speculated that “the technological revolution will bring with it three-day weekends.”

The minister explained that of the 51.2 million mobile phones used nationwide last May, more than 40 million had a mobile internet connection, meaning more people could work from home or on-the-go.

He added that the concept would have positive effects on employee productivity, public spending and public health.

The idea is not new. In 2014, Mexican businessman Carlos Slim stated that “The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has been calling for a four-day working week since employment expert, Jon Messenger, stated that the traditional employment structure is bad for health.”

However, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that the average Spaniard works 1,762 hours a year, 12 hours more than the average of 1,748 recorded in 2006.

Although the working structure has been trialled in parts of the United States, Sweden and Gambia, it is unclear if it will become a reality for Spain. 

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