Focus panel 8 – Cutting the addiction of labour to growth: the 4 days week
The purpose of this panel is to discuss a key proposal to massively create jobs and fund social security in a no-growth world, facilitating recruitments, improving gender and work/life balance.
The post-Covid world of work is deeply shaken. The economy has been on hold, companies have suffered, workers have suffered, but millions of jobs have been saved by public policies such as temporary unemployment benefits and reduction of working time, supported by European programs like SURE. With the big resignation in the US, rising costs of living and still booming numbers of burnouts and stress at work, a new social contract is an urgent necessity.
Thousands of workers in the UK, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, the USA, Belgium and elsewhere are experiencing the 4 day workweek. Different formulas are being explored, with varying - mostly definitely positive - impacts on facilitating recruitments, job creation, work/life balance, reduction of stress levels, gender equality, climate change mitigation, fiscal space of governments and many more areas.
Particularly in the framework of this event « beyond growth » the 4 day workweek is absolutely key for a new, sustainable, model of development in a future without growth. Actually, this future is already the present. Economic growth has been falling decade after decade for the last 60 years in most European countries, and is oscillating today between recession and levels that are not sufficient to create jobs nor to ensure the sustainability of financing social security. The most powerful tool to ensure massive job creation and finance social security, without relying on the eternal (unsuccessful) chase of economic growth, is the 4 day workweek. In this regard, this concrete solution may be part of the key to reconcile different visions within the labor and climate movements.
- Pierre Larrouturou - MEP (S&D), Beyond Growth Conference organiser
- Katharina Wiese - Senior Policy Officer, European Environmental Bureau (EEB)
- Hazel Gavigan - Global campaign and activation officer at 4 Day Week Global
- Hélène Garzino - Associate at Agence Verte
- Florent Marcellesi - Co-chair of Verdes Equo and former MEP (Greens/EFA)
- Dominique Meda - Director of IRISSO and Professor, Paris Dauphine