A shorter working week could help to close the gender pay gap!

As men labored less throughout the pandemic, they required on the greater share of cleaning – reducing women’s delinquent work

It’s very easy to assume the way a four day working week could transform our mental health insurance and work existence balance. But, according to a different report through the Women’s Budget Group (WBG), a shorter working week may also assistance to close the gender pay gap.

When delinquent care jobs are taken into account, for example childcare and cleaning, women still work longer hrs at a lower price than men.

As Covid-19 altered our working patterns, WBG researchers studied the outcome this had on delinquent care work. As men’s working hrs declined, time they allocated to delinquent care in your own home elevated. While women ongoing to complete the majority of the delinquent work, men’s share elevated to 40%, up from 34% in 2015.

Within the second phase from the pandemic, men’s compensated hrs retrieved and also the trend reversed. This means that the shorter working week can lead to a far more even distribution of house work and care responsibilities.

Developing a part of WBG’s focus on the Feminist Eco-friendly New Deal, the report also explores how overwork and overproduction contributes towards global warming. Evidence suggests countries with shorter working days have lower green house gas emissions per person.

So by reduction of emissions and women’s delinquent work, a shorter working week could tackle the intersecting crises of inequality and ecological breakdown. But, the report states, to get this done effectively will need various changes to our policy.

The report requires an extensive work policy package to aid changes towards the working week, according to situation studies of reduced working patterns in France, Portugal and Columbia. This will have to include meticulous planning and assessment to prevent shortages of particular skills and kinds of work, along with a flexible method of a shorter working week in which a shorter morning or perhaps a three-day week might be considered.

The package would should also implement strong pro-work institutions, particularly well-coordinated trade unions, equal pay legislation, elevated employment, greater minimum wages and permanent contracts. The report claims a reform in parental leave policies may help encourage a far more equal distribution of care within couples.

Dr Sara Reis, deputy director and mind of policy and research at WBG, stated:

“The pandemic provided an all natural experiment around the advantages of a shorter working week. We all know that care was more evenly shared when men were working less compensated hrs. Once we still fight the inequalities exacerbated through the pandemic, it’s only right that people start learning in the encounters from it.”

She ongoing: “A shorter working week will work for the earth and it is great for people. However it must form a part of a broader group of work measures which includes a reform in our parental leave system. If women are spending their additional time on domestic work while men stand relaxing, we’ll never see parity in the way we share care.”

As governments and organisations still think about what we’ve learned with the pandemic, could change be coming? What is your opinion – could a shorter working week help to create equality?

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