Local News

The Greens are pushing for a four day work week

Can I get an amen?

By Kate Wagner
Finally a politician we can agree with.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale will pitch a four day working week to the National Press Club today, and we're here wondering why this man isn't Prime Minister.
Not only does he think we should be working less days, we should be working shorter days too – six hours to be precise.
Speaking to Lateline, Senator Di Natale questioned Australians' priorities in the work life balance.
"It's time we recognised there are big questions we're not asking ourselves. What sort of society do we want to be?" he said.
"What does the future of work in this country look like? How do we deal with the fact that wages have remained stagnant but productivity has gone through the roof?"
The six hour working week has already been embraced by those ever knowledgeable Swedes who aim to get more done in a shorter amount of time, leaving people to invest their energy into their private lives.
In Gothenberg, Sweden's second largest city, Toyota made the switch 13 years ago. Thirteen. Di Natale, where you been? The company has reported happier staff (duh), a lower turnover rate and an increase in profits since they embraced the good life.
Senator Di Natale will discuss Australia's habit of focussing on the 16 per cent who want to work more (sounds fake, but okay) which is great – but it's time we discussed the "one in four Australians who want to work less".
This gets murky when you start to think about the financial impacts of working less. Senator Di Natale wants a guaranteed adequate income, which his party suggests could be supplemented by a reformed income support system which would include simplified pensions and allowances.
It's highly doubtful this policy will attract the support of the major parties who are currently focussing on cracking down on Australia's almost $200 billion annual welfare bill.
While similarly keen to not crack down on reducing pollies' $273 daily living allowance for living in their own homes, but I digress.
"We want to kick off a conversation about the future of work and start by questioning the entrenched political consensus that a good life can only come from more work," Senator Di Natale will say.
Just know you have our support, and if you could implement it this week that would be super.