Ardern Asks Companies to Consider 4-Day Workweek

Four-day week: NZ mulls dramatic coronavirus remedy

Four-day week: NZ mulls dramatic coronavirus remedy

Ardern also said it would "be great" to see the trans-Tasman bubble come to life to get Australian visitors over to New Zealand.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is backing a four-day workweek as a way to help the country adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That included more public holidays - an idea that has been rejected by Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters - and a four-day working week.

The decision on whether to institute a shorter work week is an individual one between employer and employee, according to Ardern.

New Zealand's tourism industry had accounted for about 10 per cent of the economy but has ground to a halt during the outbreak.

"The question for me is, how do we encourage Kiwis to ... get out and about, and visit some of the wonderful places and tourism offerings that we have", she asked on Facebook Live.

"Think about if that's something that would work for your workplace, because it certainly would help tourism all around the country", she said.

No quick economic bounce back warns Chancellor
The Office of Budget Responsibility has previously suggested unemployment could reach "double digits" in the wake of the pandemic. On social distancing, Sir Iain said "we're the only country certainly in Europe that I know of" that uses the two-metre rule.

Ardern said there is "a range of options and we should be open (minded)".

Speaking in a Facebook Live video on Monday, Ardern said the country's tourism industry was suffering especially, and a four-day work week would allow people to travel their country more easily.

As preferred prime minister, 39-year-old Ardern, whose Labour party is now in a coalition with the Greens and the nationalist New Zealand First party, had 63%, while rival opposition National Party leader Simon Bridges polled just 5%.

The prime minister also pointed to the benefits of working from home, which the coronavirus crisis has shown can drive up productivity. "This is an opportunity for a massive reset".

"Think about exploring your backyard", she said.

New Zealand, with a population of five million, has recorded just 21 coronavirus deaths, thanks largely to the early lockdown and rigorous adherence to anti-virus measures.

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