Call goes out for six-hour workday for parents

Parents of small children should be allowed to work just six hours a day at full pay, claims one of Norway’s biggest labour unions, YS. It’s lobbying for the right to a six-hour workday for parents when their children are aged one to three.

“This is a proposal that we think will lead to more women staying in full-time jobs to a much higher degree,” Hege Herø og YS told newspaper Aftenposten. “At the same time, we’ll avoid many fathers working too much overtime.”

She pointed to statistics indicating that while four out of 10 women work part-time in Norway, only 10 percent of men do the same. Many women cut back to part-time after ending their fully paid maternity leave from full-time jobs, “and we know that women often continue with that once they’ve begun.”

Herø believes that “if both mom and dad had shorter workdays in the most hectic period (when children are small and need to be delivered to and picked up from day care centers) it’s probable that moms would hang on to the strong ties to their jobs.”

NHO, the national organization representing employers, thinks a six-hour workday is “the wrong way to go.” NHO officials worry it would still reduce the work force and that there are no guarantees men would reduce their workdays as well, to take on more responsibility at home.

newsinenglish.no staff

  • ninast

    Why should parents be the only ones to get this?!

    • GBCD

      because children are a capital investment in a future labor force that will pay into your pension and may wind up working in your nursing home. Either that or you can import a foreigner which is basically importing someone else’s children. If there are tax breaks for investments in stuff like feather cranes or other capital goods, I don’t see why investment in human capital especially in a knowledge driven economy should be less valuable. That’s why you give parents breaks.

      And because your parents also raised you and it would probably have been nice if they had had those “perks” then.

      Likewise in a tight labor market you shouldn’t want to alienate your good workers that you currently have.

  • http://profiles.google.com/kiwi.robbie Robert Cumming

    Nice way to make Norway even less competitive than it is today, it would also lead to many employers simply not hiring people who have children. Like 4 days working week proposals this should be binned immediately.

  • ForABetterFuture2

    What about parents with children who have disabilities? This is a group also hit hard by hectic daily routine, while taking care of their children’s demanding needs.