Del Duca seeks to pilot four-day work week if elected

The Liberal Party leader promised to pilot the new scheme if elected

Del Duca seeks to pilot four-day work week if elected

Ontario Liberal Party leader Steven Del Duca announced that he’ll be piloting a four-day work week if he’s elected – looking to see if the arrangement could work out long-term in the province.

"If elected to government next spring, if I earned that opportunity, I want to launch a pilot that will take a look at whether or not a four-day work week has merit here in Ontario," Del Duca said in an interview with CBC News.

The Liberal leader attributed his plan to the situation of workers this year, who have been struggling since the outbreak of COVID-19.

"We know that there are so many workers in this province who work hard each and every single day but yet fall further and further behind," acknowledged Del Duca. "We know that thousands of us are plagued with mental health challenges and difficulties. We know that worker productivity has been slipping. We know that family life has been tendered or has been damaged. People are frankly working all the time and again not getting ahead falling further and further behind."

According to Del Duca, the four-day work scheme will be tested to see if can actually improve productivity, mental health, family life, and the environment.

"There's no harm in taking a look at it and I think people are excited to know that I want to pursue big, bold, creative, ambitious ideas on their behalf," he added.

The pilot will also look into what kind of arrangement could work for employees - to make sure that longer shifts in the four-day work week would not lead to greater burnout in the long run.

Read more: Is HR ready for a four-day work week?

Convincing the private sector

To encourage private sectors to adopt the plan, Del Duca said that he’ll invite leaders to a discussion - urging them to give the plan a chance.

"There might be some kind of investment that's required as a bit of a start-up to help bridge the gap or make that happen. I'm open to all of those ideas," he said.

He added that some companies in Canada are already implementing, or looking at implementing, the four-day work week plan.

"We know that municipalities, including one in Ontario and one Atlantic Canada, have also gone down this path and we also know that private sector companies here in the greater Toronto area and elsewhere have also started to do this voluntarily," he said.

Ultimately, the Ontario leader said he wants to pursue the plan to let the "next generation of workers" know that they can pursue meaningful careers while also enjoying their lives.

"The bottom line for me is we're supposed to work so we can live, not live so we can work," he said.

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