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Catalan government launches campaign to promote benefits of timetable reform

The Minister of the Presidency, Neus Munté, expects that changes in working hours could begin to be introduced in September 2018

The Catalan government has launched a campaign to promote the benefits of timetable reform. Under the motto “we’ll find time in time", the government wishes to show its overt support for changes in working times in order to "increase competitiveness and promote a healthy social life", according to the Minister of the Presidency, Neus Munté. The campaign began this Monday and will continue until 18 December.

Changes to working hours would result in "behavioural changes" that would benefit families, businesses and the health of the public at large. Munté declared that the revised working hours would allow for a better work-life balance, in addition to "greater freedom" in terms of time management.

Parliament is currently in the process of drafting a bill on timetable reform. Its objective, according to Munté, is to create a "national agreement on timetable reform". The government has declared September 2018 as "zero hour" for the beginning of the implementation of the reform.

The Minister of the Presidency stressed the need for "consensus-building and awareness-raising" in order for the project to be a success. To this end, she announced that the CEO [Catalonia’s Office for National Statistics] will conduct a survey of working hours to study the public’s habits and preferences. The results will be published next year.

Munté stressed the need for all areas of society to back the proposal for it to be a success. The first step in this process was the agreement which was reached between trade unions and employers so that negotiations involving collective agreements can include measures related to timetable reform.

At present, 50% of the working population finishes work at 6 pm, while 30% do so at 7 pm. According to one of the main supporters of timetable reform, Junts pel Sí MP, Fabián Mohedano, people have "lost an hour of sleep" [per night] in the last 30 years due to the current system of working hours in Catalonia. Mohedano believes that the main objective of the reform is to improve the public’s health.

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