By Bob Katzen
The Labor and Workforce Development Committee held a hearing on legislation that would create a voluntary 4-day work week pilot program in the Bay State.
Participating employers would transition employees to a 4-day work week without any reduction in pay in return for a tax credit administered by the Department of Revenue.
“Americans are overstressed and overworked,” said Rep. Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth). The data shows that a 4-day work week creates a happier workforce, fuels company productivity and helps businesses attract top talent,” said co-sponsor Rep. Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth). “This pilot program studies its efficacy in Massachusetts to determine whether the four-day work week could benefit commonwealth employees and businesses.”
“In this era of tight labor markets, we need to get creative to keep our economy growing,” said co-sponsor Rep. Josh Cutler (D-Duxbury), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. “This bill creates new incentives for Massachusetts businesses to explore shifting to a 4-day work week which can offer a myriad of benefits, including boosting worker satisfaction and productivity, and reducing absenteeism and commuting time.”
“Our research with hundreds of companies and thousands of workers shows that a 4-day, 32-hour week with no reduction in pay not only yields tremendous well-being improvements for workers, but is highly beneficial for companies,” said Professor Juliet Schor, a leading supporter of the measure. “After trialing this model, a mere 6 percent are returning to the 5-day week. [This bill] will put Massachusetts on the map once again leading the nation, as we have done on same-sex marriage and climate.”