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Lithuania creates four-day week for state employees with young children

April 29, 2022

Lithuania has become the first Eastern European country to offer families with children who work for the government a four-day work week for the same average salary. Lithuanian parliamentarians have backed legislation that allows public servants with children under the age of three to work 32 hours a week.

The reduced weekly hours, which do not apply to private sector workers in the country, will come into effect next year. The Baltic nation initiative aims to help families balance work and family life, while reducing a gender pay gap and also diverging retirement benefits.

According to the president of the Lithuanian parliament, Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, the law will also help public sector jobs, which cannot compete with higher paying private sector jobs, to become more attractive.

In the UK, about 30 companies have signed up for a six-month trial to evaluate an even bolder proposal: a four-day work week with no reduction in pay.

A study published by Bloomberg reveals that in Iceland, which introduced rules curtailing work time by three to five hours a week for equivalent pay, employees maintained productivity even as they worked less. 

Amidst increasingly seen government initiatives, the private sector is already demonstrating protagonism and results in changing working time. Several studies have found that businesses that offer a four-day working week as part of their employee package reap the rewards:

  • Increasing productivity
  • Improvement of the ability to attract and retain talent
  • Better overall wellbeing and employee satisfaction
  • Smaller carbon footprint

Source: Henley Business School | Bloomberg