BOSTON, MA – New legislation co-filed by Rep. Josh Cutler (D-Duxbury) and Rep. Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth) would create a four-day work week pilot program in Massachusetts.
The voluntary program would allow businesses to transition employees to a reduced work schedule without an overall reduction in pay. Participating employers would agree to regular reporting to help study the effects of transitioning employees and businesses to a four-day work week and in return could qualify for a tax credit.
Research indicates that four-day work week models have the potential to reduce burnout and boost performance among workers without affecting employer productivity. This legislation creates a two year pilot program run by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to study the issue here in Massachusetts.
“In this era of tight labor markets, we need to get creative to keep our economy growing,” said Rep. Cutler, who serves as House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. “This bill creates new incentives for Massachusetts businesses to explore shifting to a four-day work week which can offer a myriad of benefits, including boosting worker satisfaction and productivity, and reducing absenteeism and commuting time.”
Added Rep. Fernandes, "As we work to make Massachusetts a premier destination for businesses and workers, we must prioritize workforce health and happiness. By creating more time for family, friends, and leisure through a three-day weekend, we can attract and retain top talent, boost productivity, and promote a dynamic and innovative economy that benefits all residents."
Entitled the “Massachusetts Smart Work Week Pilot,” the program will accept applications from employers across Massachusetts to participate in the study. Priority will be given to ensure that qualifying employers hail from a diverse size, occupation, industry sector and geographical location and include participation of veteran-, women- and minority-owned businesses and businesses owned by persons with disabilities.
Participating employers will agree to reduce the hours of all or some of their employees without reducing overall pay, status or benefits. Businesses will also be eligible for a tax credit for their participation in the study and necessary data collection.
“Is the four day week really the success story for employees, companies, and the climate that research to date suggests? This innovative and well-designed program will answer that question and put Massachusetts in the forefront of a long overdue change in how we work,” said Juliet Schor, economist and Professor of Sociology, Boston College.
“The 4 Day Week is proving to be an invaluable investment wherever it is implemented. Organizations see rising productivity, people are happier and healthier, and the benefits only scale up from there. With this bill, Massachusetts is poised to lead the nation towards a better future,” said Jon Steinman, founder and board member of 4 Day Week US, a non-profit advocacy organization.
For questions, please contact Lilla Adams in Representative Cutler’s office at 617-722-2013 or Alec Scicchitano in Representative Fernandes’ office at 804-372-0676.