Catalonia aims to return people’s work-life balance

Catalonia aims to return people’s work-life balanceAn alliance of 110 companies, trade unions, educational groups and social activists signed up to a working hours reform pact, which aims to make the working day shorter, more flexible and more compact.

This is reported by The Guardian.

Workers in Spain tend to start their day around 9 am, break for coffee mid-morning and then work until 2 pm. The lunch break lasts two or three hours, after which they return to work until 8 pm or later.

Such a late finish means that dinner isn’t eaten before 9 pm. Add in a couple of hours of TV to help wind down, and people end up going to bed well after midnight. The length of the working day also affected children, many of whom take part in after-school activities late into the evening because their parents are still at work.

Fabian Mohedano, a spokesman for Reforma Horària, the group behind the pact, said the long and disjointed working day was affecting people’s well-being and family lives.

“We’re trying to build a dam to stop the working day getting longer. We’ve been stretching out the working day for the past 20 or 30 years, making things later and later.”

The main thing, he added, was to rebalance the day: “We need to get back to the idea that midday is 12 pm. But here, midday is 3 pm. That’s the whole point.”

Three years ago, a Spanish parliamentary commission recommended shifting Spain back into its former time zone and introducing a more regular, 9-to-5 day. Last December the employment minister, Fátima Báñez, announced plans to let Spaniards finish work at 6 pm.
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