The pilot project for the four-day week, to be presented by the Government at the next meeting of the Social Dialogue, in November, “is a first step on a journey that will take many years to complete”, said the economist and professor at Birkbeck, University of London.
“It must be very clear in Portuguese public opinion that the path is very, very, very long and that we started without making any promises” regarding the date of its implementation in Portugal, added Pedro Gomes.
Regarding the way in which the four-day week should be legislated, the economist considers that “it is still too early” to say whether it should be implemented in general law or collective sectoral agreements, indicating that only after evaluating the effects of the project -pilot in companies and workers if it will be possible to proceed to this stage.
The pilot experience will take place “on a small scale” so that we can learn how to make this change in Portugal and evaluate its effects “both on the productivity side of companies and on the physical and mental well-being and health of workers”, explained Pedro Gomes, stressing that there is a need for a “wide debate” on the matter.
“I hope that the results can inform the social partners – unions and employers – and also the political parties, so that after the broad debate that is already taking place in public opinion, then yes – they can think about whether it is worth following this path”, says the professor.
Pedro Gomes, author of the book “Friday is the New Saturday”, was invited by the Government to design and coordinate the pilot project for the four-day week in Portugal.