International Finance
Economy

Swedish six-hour workday proves expensive

An experiment allowed the participants to work for 6 hours but maintain the same salary level that they previously earned

January 6, 2017: A two-year experiment was carried out in the Swedish city of Gothenburg in which the working hours of 68 nurses in a home was shortened from 8 hours to 6.

The experiment allowed the nurses to work for 6 hours but maintain the same salary level that they previously earned. However, according to preliminary results, the cost of this scheme outweighs its benefits.

To cover the reduced hours for the 68 nurses, 17 extra staff had to be hired at a cost of about 12 million kronor ($1.3 million).

Although the takeaway from this scheme was largely positive as nurses felt healthier and patient care improved, the city will not make this program a permanent one.

While historical data shows that the length of the average working day has fallen in Sweden over the past century, there are currently no plans to establish six-hour working days at the national level.

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