Unconditional basic income and a four-day workweek

The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) programme – which provides support of $500 per month for a year and a half to 125 residents of poor neighbourhoods in Stockton, California – is one of many success stories of  unconditional basic income initiatives . Kenya, on the other hand, has the largest programme of its kind in the world: it has been running for 12 years and involves 5,000 residents in 300 villages, so that they receive an extra 22 dollars a month. Six years into the project, participants are less likely to complain of hunger and illness and more likely to have set up a business. The research proves that guaranteed income works – it lifts people out of poverty, improves their health, and makes it easier for them to find work and care for their children. According to researchers, money must be a right, not a reward, because it is the only way to enable people to make their own choices.

More and more companies and countries are  testing the four-day working week  in various formats. A shorter working week is another asset for employers competing for employees: not only will it avoid burnout, but it will also address the new needs of jobseekers who, having experienced the pandemic, are keen to make better use of their time. This is because they want to spend more time with their families and as part of their communities. Currently, 90% of the working population in Iceland work a shortened working week or have the option to do so. Similar schemes have been or will soon be joined by, among others: UK, Spain, Scotland, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka and Microsoft and Panasonic in Japan.

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