Reducing working time: case studies from across Europe

EPSU Case Studies on Working Time banner

(18 April) EPSU has launched a series of case studies to explore how trade unions across Europe are addressing working time reduction. These monthly publications have been providing insights into how public service unions have approached the issue and the steps they have taken to negotiate a shorter working week or other initiatives to reduce working hours. The first three articles were published in January, February and March and covered recent developments in Austria, Iceland and then the other Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden). This month the focus is on Spain and Portugal.  

Earlier this year, the Congress of the European Trade Union Confederation committed to “support campaigns for reduced working time, and to put control of working time flexibility in the hands of the worker.” The debate about shorter working time has also been given momentum by the global four-day week campaign and its various pilot projects across Europe and North America.

The issue is also generating discussions across the public services. EPSU affiliates in several countries have taken initiatives to campaign for and negotiate reductions to working time.

Working time changes also feature in EPSU’s draft Programme of Action that will be debated at its Congress in June. In the lead up to that debate EPSU has commissioned Lionel Fulton of the Labour Research Department to produce a series of articles that examine recent examples of how affiliates in other trade unions have negotiated or plan to campaign on the issue.

We will update the list as we publish new leaflets. Stay tuned!

Reducing Working Time case studies:

Austria

Iceland

Nordic

Spain and Portugal

Austria Denmark Finland Iceland Norway Portugal Spain Sweden