Woolworths employees to get 4-day work week after SDA union agreement

Thousands of Woolworths employees will get a four-day week if the peak union secures a proposed agreement with the supermarket.

Under a new addition to the latest enterprise agreement, workers would be able to complete their 38-hour workload over four days – resulting in 9.5 hour shifts.

More likely than not, this will mean retail workers will still have to work a shift on either Saturday or Sunday, as these are the busiest days of the week.

The Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) union, which covers about 130,000 workers, has supported the proposal for more flexible rostering.

SDA NSW secretary Bernie Smith said members “overwhelmingly endorsed” the Woolworths proposal.

“A proposal will be out for a few weeks for members to consider and ask questions,” he said.

“Then the proposal will be subject to a vote by the members to approve it.”

The supermarket remains in the bargaining process with other unions, including the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union, which represents 900 employees.

If the agreement passes, the supermarket will join a string of Australian businesses who are hopping on-board the new age work trend that supports increased work-life balance.

Last year, hardware giant Bunnings agreed to a similar agreement that gave their employees a four-day week.

Health insurer Medibank announced in October that it was launching a six-month trial for 250 employees in its 4000-strong team.

The business has been using its 100:80:100 model, which means workers get 100 per cent of their pay while working 80 per cent of their regular hours and maintaining 100 per cent productivity.

Twenty-six Australian businesses were involved in a trial with 4 Day Work Week Global in August 2022, with 95 per cent of them saying they were greatly satisfied with the shorter work weeks.

They reported a 44 per cent reduction in absenteeism and 9 per cent reduction in resignations.

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