System change: New Zealand thinks about the 4-day week to get over Corona crisis


New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wants to ease her country out of the Corona crisis with a 4-day working week, among other things. She encourages employers in the country to consider the introduction of a four-day week and other flexible working models. This would also help the country’s tourism, which is in a deep crisis.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is considering a four-day week in the discussion about rising unemployment and a better work-life balance after the Corona crisis. The proposal is also seen as a way of boosting tourism. In New Zealand, the hotel industry is in deep crisis as a consequence of the Corona pandemic. Many New Zealanders have told her that they would take more holidays in New Zealand if they had more free time, says Ardern.

“I hear many New Zealanders suggest a four-day week. Ultimately it’s a question between employees and employers. But we’ve learned a lot from Covid: The flexibility when people work from home and the increased productivity that comes with that,” says Ardern. She wants to encourage employers to introduce the 4-day week: “It would certainly help tourism throughout the country.”

Ardern most popular Prime Minister in 100 years

According to the Guardian, Ardern’s suggestion in a Facebook live video has already been broadly discussed and has been well received by the public. Many New Zealanders don’t want to return to the old normality and all of the problems that come with it after the Corona crisis.

Ardern currently has the best survey results in more than a century for a New Zealand government leader. Almost 60 percent of New Zealanders support her as a person (20.8 points more than in the last survey) and 56.5 percent support her Labour Party.

The country has come through the health crisis in good shape: In New Zealand, the coronavirus is considered to be practically eradicated. With around 1,500 cases, 21 deaths and currently no new infections, the country has overcome the crisis faster than most other regions in the world. The five million New Zealanders are fairly unanimous that they owe this to the comparatively much earlier measures taken by their 39-year-old Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“We have won this battle”, said Ardern. Now the battle against the economic crisis is waiting.

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The social democratic magazine covers current political events, both in Austria and in the rest of the world. We view society, state and economy from a progressive, emancipatory point of view. Kontrast casts the gaze of social justice on the world.


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