Workplace Report January 2017

Health & safety news

Benefits of a shorter working day

A two-year trial of a six-hour working day at an elderly care home by the Swedish city of Gothenburg has found that employees were happier and healthier, according to Gothenburg city councillor Daniel Bernmar. 

Writing on the Guardian newspaper website, he said that despite a number of negative news reports about the results of the “small pilot project”, which has attracted international media attention, they show that a shorter working day lowered sick leave by 10%.

In addition, the perceived health of care workers increased considerably and residents felt they were getting better care, he reported. 

Negative reports of the trial have pointed out that employing more care workers increased costs by around 20%. But Bernmar says out that unemployment, poor working conditions, early retirement and sick leave all also have huge societal costs. He argues that as a result, the net increase in the costs of employing new care workers drops to around 10%, even without factoring in the long-term effects.