New Zealand union calls for 4-day workweek

The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) is suggesting a comprehensive pilot of a four-day working week as part of a strategy to develop the economy.
By: | September 29, 2022

The CTU has called for A Decent Work Act to replace the Employment Relations Act, including a proper pilot of a four-day work week, and providing for free early childhood education. 

“We think there’s an audience for that here. Now, of course, this is the start of our journey, and this is not the finished product,” CTU economist Craig Renney said. 

Renney said it would now consult and engage with the widest range of groups and businesses to look at the details of how such policies could be designed and implemented.

In addition, it has launched the ‘Building a Better Future’ plan to make New Zealand a better place for workers as well as businesses. 

Renney said the current economic system and the disruptions caused by the pandemic had increased divisions within the country. “We reject a future in which we simply return to all the problems we had before, such as homelessness, inequality and economic insecurity.” 

READ: Is Singapore ready for a 4-day workweek?

The report puts forward five economic “missions” with associated policies, to improve on worker and national wellbeing, tackle climate change, housing, work-life balance, and economic equity. 

The proposals include a national investment bank to finance key economic goals, with a levy on bank profits as a source of funds, along with a new government-owned default KiwiSaver provider, according to RNZ.