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New Zealand proposes week with 4 working days to resume economy

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New Zealand proposes week with 4 working days to resume economy

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, appointed as one of the most efficient world leaders in fighting the coronavirus, made a suggestion to restructure the country's economy. She advised employers to establish a more flexible routine, with just four days of work per week, which would boost local tourism and bring greater balance and mental health to employees in this resumption.

Ardern presented his ideas in a live on Facebook, from inside a car, while returning from Rotorua, one of the tourist areas of the country, last Tuesday 19. She said she met with businessmen, who gave several suggestions, such as reducing the workweek until the inclusion of holidays to encourage domestic tourism, as borders remain closed to foreigners.

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“I heard many suggestions that we should have a four-day workweek. Lately, this has been a decision between employers and employees. But, as we said, we learned a lot from Covid-19 and that we can be productive with the flexibility of working from home, ”she said. “I would really encourage people to think about it. If you are an employer and are in a position to do so, think about whether this is something that would work in your workplace, as it would certainly help tourism across the country. ”

With dimensions slightly below those of Tocantins and a population of less than 5 million inhabitants, New Zealand managed to eliminate the coronavirus quickly – it has just over 1,000 confirmed cases and 21 deaths – thanks to a quick response and respect for isolation standards . Adern, however, says it is necessary to remain alert. "We know that a single case of Covid-19 can turn into 90 after a night out or a simple event."

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The idea of ​​a reduced workweek is not new in New Zealand. In 2018, Perpetual Guardian, an Auckland-based company that manages assets and wills, gained worldwide repercussion by implementing the measure. Its founder, Andrew Barnes, reinforced the prime minister's position and stressed that the change made his employees happier and more productive.

“New Zealand could definitely have a four-day work week after Covid, and, in fact, it would be a strategy to rebuild the economy and, in particular, the most affected tourism market, as it turns to a domestic focus, ”Barnes told the local website Newshub. According to him, the workload reduction and the home office promote mental and physical health and protection of the environment and family life.

“We need to maintain all of the productivity benefits that working at home brings, including cleaner air and lost productivity on the move while helping companies stay active. We have to be bold with our model. This is an opportunity for a massive redefinition ”, added Barnes.

Tourism is an essential sector of the New Zealand economy. In 2019, it moved 16.2 billion dollars, about 6% of the local GDP, according to government data. However, the pandemic is expected to reduce the country's economy by more than 20% in 2020. Tens of thousands of New Zealanders were made redundant during the blockade.

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