Work four days and still get paid the wages of five working days? Employees of the city of Ludwigshafen can now take advantage of the tempting offer. The city was one of the first local governments to introduce the four-day week working model – but with the same weekly working hours. In the future, both part-time and full-time employees can agree with their supervisors to spread their working hours over four instead of five days a week and thus have one more day off.
The mayor of Ludwigshafen, Jutta Steinruck, wants to use the flexible working hours to offer her employees more opportunities and give greater consideration to their perspectives. "We're in tough competition for good staff. As a city administration, we can't keep up with the economy when it comes to pay due to collective bargaining law," she says.
"In addition, there is competition from Baden-Württemberg and Hesse, where civil servants are better paid than in Rhineland-Palatinate," says Steinruck. "That's why we consciously rely on our strength: a high degree of flexibility in the organization of working hours, which enables our employees to combine professional and private life with each other in a phase-oriented manner." In addition, the Rhineland-Palatinate city hopes that the four-day week will reduce its CO2 emissions and relieve traffic on its streets.
The Ludwigshafen pilot project only applies to parts of the city administration and is initially scheduled to run for one year. The shortened working week should not change anything in terms of the opening hours of the administration and the service times for the citizens.
According to the Palatinate Chamber of Industry and Commerce, there is still a lack of empirical values and thus pioneers and role models for evaluating the four-day week. In her opinion, employers could become more attractive with the four-day week and thus retain their existing employees and attract new ones.
Sources: SWR, Tagesschau, City of Ludwigshafen