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Four-day work week not ‘off the table:’ Horgan

Higher productivity over fewer workdays key to idea: Fraser Institute
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The idea of a four-day workweek is one Premier John Horgan says intrigues him.

The NDP premier made the comments in Victoria June 4 when asked about a report from the conservative Fraser Institute.

In the report released June 3, the think tank said a four-day work week without sacrificing income is possible for Canadians by 2030 if worker productivity increases by two per cent per year by then.

Report co-author and institute senior fellow Steven Globerman said the idea is one emerging from the pandemic.

“To achieve a four-day work week, where we actually work fewer hours while at the same time maintaining our current living standards, we need to be more productive,” Globerman said.

The report said with a two per cent productivity growth per year, workers could realize an inflation-adjusted cumulative 1.5 per cent increase in income.

However, the report said, seeing such a growth rate “would be a substantial improvement over Canada’s recent historical performance.”

“Given its recent productivity performance, achieving a two per cent per annum growth in labour productivity in the years ahead arguably represents a challenging, but potentially achievable, outcome for the Canadian economy,” the document said.

And Horgan did not dismiss the idea out of hand.

“Rare is the day that I crack the cover of a Fraser Institute report, but I am intrigued about the idea of a four-day workweek and I’ll certainly take a look at that,” Horgan said.

Horgan said it is an idea to be considered for the future.

“One of the advantages and opportunities coming out of a pandemic is nothing should be off the table,” Horgan said. “Anyone who is out there who has an idea, we want to hear about it.

“We need new ideas, good ideas, and we should be unafraid to have that discussion.”

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