During my last two years at university, we would attend class from Monday to Thursday, with Friday being reserved for org activities…..or sleep. (Guess which one I usually did. Nah, only kidding. I was a complete nerd even back then.)
We often referred to the fourth weekday as “Happy Thursday.” As soon as classes ended that day, you could go to any of the establishments lining Taft and drink yourself silly to forget about the douchebag/b*tch who broke your heart, that hard-nosed terror professor who made you recite the entire tax code up front, or whatever else happened that week.
By the time I graduated, I thought that the four-day week was what I would miss the most from my college days. Until now.
Last 27 August, the House of Representatives approved a bill allowing employees to have a four-day work week. After three readings, House Bill 6152, which will institutionalize a compressed work week policy, is set to be implemented throughout the country.
Lone Baguio City Rep. Mark Go, one of the bill’s authors, said that HB 6152 will provide both employers and employees with the flexibility to draw up work hours that will fulfill company requirements while addressing the workers’ needs for better work-life balance. So, rather than following the usual five-hour work week, businesses and their staff may agree on a shorter duration, provided that the total weekly working hours don’t exceed 48.
Once an employee exceeds the allotted 48 hours of work per week, s/he would be entitled to overtime pay for each hour in excess. The bill also mandates a rest period of up to 72 hours or three days in the event of a compressed work schedule.
However, the lawmaker was quick to clarify that the compressed work week scheme is optional, and that there won’t be any penalties for the firms who stick to the usual 40-hour work week split between Monday to Friday. Furthermore, employers who do decide to implement the four-day work week would need to get a clearance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The said government agency, meanwhile, has been tasked with issuing the necessary implementing rules and regulations (IRR’s) within 90 days of the law’s implementation.
Should the law be successfully put into practice, there is potential not only for a more productive workforce (happier employees = more productive employees), but perhaps even for less traffic and a slightly (!) better commute once there are fewer people plying the roads on the weekdays.
Just imagine enjoying #HappyThursdays for life, eh?