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Danish municipality introduces four-day working week

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Danish municipality introduces four-day working week
File photo: Claus Bech Andersen/Ritzau Scanpix
16:46 CEST+02:00
Odsherred Municipality is to become the first local authority in Denmark to implement a four-day working week.

The northwest Zealand municipality’s 300-strong staff is to be given Fridays off, beginning this week, its HR head of department Kirsten Lund Markvardsen said.

A three-year trial of various new initiatives at the local council is the basis for the shorter working week.

Another change brought about by the trial will enable local residents to contact the municipality outside of traditional opening hours on working days.

“Members of the public will be able to call earlier and later in the day in return for us being closed on Friday,” Markvardsen said.

“That should enable us to provide better municipal service whilst giving our staff an extra day off,” she added.

The four extended working days will amount to a 35-hour working week for staff. A typical working week in Denmark is around 37.5 hours.

READ ALSO: Denmark tops EU survey on work-life balance

Staff timetables will be individual, but each week is likely to contain at least one long working day. Opening hours will be between 7am and 7pm.

Civil servants employed at the municipality are enthusiastic about the new work timetable, according to Søren Kühnrich, an employee representative for one of the staff sections affected by the changes.

“We are looking forward to getting started with the trial four-day week,” Kühnrich said.

“We’ve had a good dialogue with the municipality about the arrangement, which is a break with the conventional way of conceiving a working week,” he added.

Odsherred’s City Council says it supports the trial arrangement. 

 
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