Not All Firms Can Implement 4-day Work Week
SINGAPORE – Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang stated that the four-day work week may not be applicable for all employers and employees here, reported Yahoo! News on Tuesday evening (13 September, SGT).
“As with any work arrangement, a four-day work week may work well for some employers and employees, but not for others,” she said during a parliamentary session.
Still, Gan urged companies and their staff to be open to flexible work arrangements in its different forms including the 4-day work week and implement those that best suit their requirements.
“We should adopt a flexible mindset, a four-day work week is one of many types of flexible work arrangements,” she explained.
Gan was replying to a query by Radin Mas MP Melvin Yong, who asked if the authorities are aware of any ongoing studies by 3rd parties to look into the feasibility of implementing 4-day work week in Singapore, and whether the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is mulling to conduct a similar research.
Subsequently, Yong fielded another question on whether MOM would consider running a small-scale pilot of a 4-day workweek involving a number of government employees, and evaluate the benefits and challenges of such work arrangement based on the pilot’s outcome.
Gan responded that the Ministry doesn’t have such plans. She explained the results of the 4-day work week pilots in Japan, Spain, Belgium, and Ireland seem to be mixed.
Gan underscored that the results showed there was an impact on business costs, productivity, and employee well-being. Although there had been an increase in productivity in some cases, the lower work hours were offset with the hiring of more people in other cases. Staff were also concerned about working longer hours per day, and the impact of the 4-day work week on their remuneration.