No one would say no to a three-day weekend, but would you choose to have one every week if you could? A four-day work week would sound amazing, but the truth is, it’s not for everyone.
Here’s your chance to know more about it before you commit to it.
What Exactly is a Four-Day Workweek?
The standard full-time workweek in the Philippine is eight hours per day excluding the one hour lunch break and 15 minute coffee breaks at 10:00AM and 3:00PM which, when you think of it, are rarely taken by employees because the heavy workload takes precedence over quick breaks. Strictly speaking, it is the one hour lunch break that is most observed. This work schedule is followed five days a week with overtime thrown in.
Making the switch to a four-day workweek will still entail forty hours but this time you work ten hours from Tuesday to Friday, Monday to Thursday, or your mutually-agreed arrangement with management through HR following this implementation.
Management Prerogative to a Four-Day Workweek
Switching to a four-day workweek is not mandatory for management. In fact, management will not have every employee tied to a four-day workweek; this would not be great for business. Instead, management will see which ones are fit to work four days a week and which ones need to go five days or even extend when needed.
Paying for a Four-Day Workweek
Employees who are salary exempt* are not included for overtime pay and thus, become eligible for a four-day workweek because they receive the same salary regardless of hours/days clocked in. Salary exempt employees are employees who, because of their positional duties and responsibilities and level of decision-making authority are not eligible for overtime pay. Salary exempt employees are expected, by most organizations, to work whatever hours are necessary to accomplish the goals and deliverables of their exempt position. These are managers-and-up positions.
Employees who are not salary exempt go to work and receive overtime pay if they go beyond forty hours of work every week. These are supervisors, staff positions, assistants, or employees who are paid per hour.
Vacation Days for a Four-Day Workweek
The number of vacation days will not change.
Article 95 of the Labor Code mandates employers to give their employees a yearly service incentive leave of five days with pay. The SIL shall be granted to a worker who has been in service within 12 months, whether continuous or broken, reckoned from the date the employee started working, including authorized absences and paid regular holidays.
The Labor Code further states laws do not preclude employers from giving similar or more, beneficial leave benefits to their employees. The common practice nowadays is that employees in the private sector are given monthly sick and vacation leave credits which they may use as the need arises. The Service Incentive Leave is commutable, thus it is convertible to cash if not used or exhausted at the end of the year. The cash equivalent is aimed primarily at encouraging workers to work continuously and with dedication to the company. (Pelita, 2016)
Advantages of a Four-Day Workweek
- An extra day without work frees up employees to spend more quality time with family, for personal life, for their hobbies, or just a quiet day alone.
- Less hassle in commuting.
- Increased productivity for happy employees.
- More engaged and committed employees.
- Decreased stress.
Disadvantages of a Four-Day Workweek
- Not a best fit for all employees and businesses. It really depends on the nature of the business.
- Makes childcare more challenging; small kids get left with the nanny longer than necessary. School-age kids may not get the attention needed from parents when they get home from work.
- More hours worked in a single day may leave employees more tired.
- Employees in a team/department who work four days a week versus those who work five days a week may feel pressured to check and respond to messages and calls, thus, negating what should be an advantage of the four-day workweek.
Should Philippine Companies Adapt a Four-Day Workweek?
It depends on the nature of the business. If it makes sense, do a trial run or you can opt for RA 1165 which you can find here: https://www.hivemanila.com/ra-1165-work-from-home-or-telecommuting-law-2019/were-back-and-welcoming-2019-from-home/
What the Rest of the World Makes of a Four-Day Workweek
The Netherlands has the shortest workweek in the world, 29 hours! Their national employment average is 76%! Wouldn’t you like to have been born there?
As for the rest of the world, check out the infographic below for deets:
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