Oxfam Australia introduces four day work week with full time paid option
Staff at a major international charity are being offered a shorter work week for the same pay – and if the move is successful, it could become the first Australian workplace to formalize such an arrangement.
Oxfam Australia’s permanent full-time employees, who currently work 35 hours a week, will be given the option to change their hours and entitlements to 30 hours a week over four days without penalties under a new company agreement.
The Australian Services Union said the agreement has received initial approval and will be put to a vote with staff over the next two weeks before a process begins.
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“It is gratifying to see Oxfam publicly acknowledging that productivity comes in many forms and that work-life balance is vital to the mental and physical health of workers,” said Imogen Sturni, Secretary of the Victorian Private Sector Branch the ASU.
“When a worker is well supported and has the flexibility at work they need to keep up with the varying demands of their lives, they actually do a better job.
“This agreement also recognizes the responsibilities of care that many workers, typically but not always women, have outside of work.”
The hours and entitlements of permanent part-time workers are prorated against a 30-hour full-time workload, she said.
The trial is then reviewed to assess whether it has benefited the work-life balance of the employees without impacting the organization’s productivity.
If successful, Oxfam has pledged to “consider a number of options including making a permanent 4-day, 30-hour week”.
Sturni said she was confident the EBA would have strong support from workers.
“A four-day, 30-hour week is a win-win for Oxfam and its employees,” she said.
A parliamentary committee recommended that the federal government support an attempt for more Australian organizations and companies to introduce such worker regulations.
While a number of Australian and overseas companies have also started their own trials, if successful, Oxfam Australia will likely be the first to be formalized in a company collective agreement.
Sturni said the overseas trials highlighted the success of shorter workweeks.
“Employees reported feeling more productive and less stressed, while employers also viewed the new work pattern positively, with some companies reporting that their financial performance has improved and employee retention has increased,” she said.
“The rigid five-day working week from Monday to Friday is a thing of the past and no longer serves the modern working world and its employees, especially employees with care responsibilities.”
https://7news.com.au/business/workplace-matters/oxfam-australia-to-introduce-four-day-week-with-full-time-pay-option-c-10131581 Oxfam Australia introduces four day work week with full time paid option