The Strategist

Unilever to test four-day workweek in New Zealand

12/02/2020 - 02:37

Unilever is testing a four-day working week in New Zealand. Employees' salaries will not change, nor will their workload: they will simply have to do their tasks in less time.

One of the largest manufacturers of consumer goods Unilever will temporarily transfer its employees in New Zealand to a four-day working week, Reuters reported citing a statement from the company.

As part of the experiment, the transfer is temporary. A total of 81 employees will move to a four-day working week. The trial mode will begin next week and will last one year, until next December. 

The salary will remain the same: employees will be paid for five days, but in fact they will work four days. Unilever has no production facilities in New Zealand and all employees work in sales, distribution and marketing, says Reuters.

The aim of the experiment is to change the way we work, rather than increasing working hours by four days, said Nick Bangs, Managing Director of Unilever New Zealand. 

"If we find ourselves in a situation where the team is working four extended days, we lose all sense," Reuters quotes him as saying. In a Financial Times comment, he explained that the workload will not decrease if the week is shortened. 

In a year's time, Unilever will assess the results to see how the four-day working week applies to the rest of its 155,000 employees around the world.