6-Hour Working Day: the Swedish Story


The myth of Sweden having introduced a 6-hour working day has spread around the world in many newspaper articles in the past few years. But no steps towards legislation for a shorter working day have been introduced in Sweden. What has taken place are trials with 6-hour working days (with maintained salary) in several publicly funded health services in municipalities and regions, mainly where the Left party (Vänsterpartiet) has influence.

In this article, Christina Winroth analyses the shift in the Swedish 6-hour working day debate from improving work-life balance and gender equality to making the work place more attractive. Even though the public intervention remains limited, the private sector has taken on this subject. This innovation raises the question of its possible transposition to other national contexts and of other innovations such as a universal basic income.

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[Picture: Malmö, source: flickr]

Christina Winroth