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Accueil » Valerija Korošec, researcher: Shorter working time as complementary social policy to UBI

Valerija Korošec, researcher: Shorter working time as complementary social policy to UBI

    How many individuals and organisations are advocating the topic of working time reduction in your country and do you form partnerships?

    I am employed at the Government Office for Macroeconomic Analysis and Development as a social policy analyst. I have made a shorter analysis of the conditions and possibilities for the introduction of shorter working time in Slovenia in the period of the economic crisis (in Mladina weekly). As a member and now as a coordinator of UBI (universal basic income) organisation in Slovenia I strongly recommend to connect shorter working week proposal as a necessary complementary part to an UBI proposal considering specific work ethic of Slovenian men and women.

    What is your group`s actual proposal for the reduction of working time?

    I work individually on the proposal as a professional researcher. The proposal will be introduced to different groups: political parties, trade unions, chamber of workers/employers etc. In short: • A new U (universal and uniform working standard) meaning app. 6 hours per a day, app. 200 working days per a year, app. 1.200 hours per a year, 60.000 hours per a life for a uniform state pension (12.000 hours of education included as ‘work’ right and/or obligation). State pays minimum wage (MW) for 6.000 hours of parenthood or persons caring for the others or volunteers or national defence ‘soldiers’ etc. • People employed yearly or regularly should have 60 days paid leave (12 ‘state holidays’, 12+ 12+12 employer holidays, 12 days ‘sick leave’). People paid by hours should get an addition: 1/6 of the ‘holiday supplement’ and paid ‘lunch’ at the rate of an hourly minimum wage (6 EUR in 2018).

    Who do you encounter as opponents and what are their counterarguments?

    I would say mostly trade unions, others don’t seem to have any opinion. Counterarguments are:

    • 8 hour work is not enough for us to survive, how can we with less?
    • If we give up the corner stone (8 hours working day) – it can be the first stone of many to follow which will ruin years of labour rights brought to us as “social democratic standard” e.i. “after II. war social-right consensus”.
    • We don’t have enough workers, which is lately an argument by chamber of employers.

    What is the public opinion on working time reduction in your country?

    There is no sign people think about it at all. There is no “official proposal” that could serve as a starting point for a serious debate. If you ask them they are mostly against it with the argument that not even 8 hour work is enough to survive and how are they suppose to make it with even less. The only exception is the example of young mothers. This seems to be socially acceptable. Therefore, this would be our “template” and/or starting point of the debate. There is also an idolatry, a wish and an anticipation of “full employment”, e.i. dignified socially valuable salary job for all.

    What is your next step in the campaign? And what are your short-term, medium-term and long-terms objectives?

    My plans are either to help people think about it or help them start with it on a personal level as I did in 2013. A “diary”, a “study”, a “first hand” experiment of my personal story: I went from 40 hours to 36 hours per week in 2013. In 2018, I got the status of (partly) self-employed. I intent to write a text – ‘6pack proposal’ – that can serve people as a manual when thinking how to approach the theme of shorter working week. I hope that it could help people to think about shorter working week together with BI implementation i.e.

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