Étienne Schneider, the minister for the economy, pictured in this archive picture, wants to reform the current working time regime.
Photo: Christophe Olinger
Etienne Schneider: We need to reorganise working times
The current deputy prime minister, Étienne Schneider, has said that working time needed to be entirely reformed.
In an interview with Paperjam, Schneider said that the organisation of working time and the digitisation of the economy were the next big issues the next government would have to tackle after the 2018 elections. He stated:
“We need to find out how everyone can find work in an economy which is moving towards digitisation and robotisation, and let’s not forget artificial intelligence.”
He said that he was not in favour of the French model of the 35-hour week. In the context of the Rifkin study, the organisation of working time should be rethought for the future. Schneider said that the current 40-hour week had been in place for the past 40 years, but that experts argued that the 4th industrial revolution would be the first to destroy more jobs than it would create.
In the interview, published on 20 July, he stated that:
“Thanks to the new technologies, employers see higher productivity levels. They need fewer staff to generate more profits. As responsible politicians, we have to ask ourselves how we want to manage and distribute that. How will we manage to have everyone in employment? If the amount of work decreases, it has to be spread out, and so the working time has to be reduced. We need to treat every sector differently and come up with different models. Do we talk about daily, weekly, monthly, yearly working time? Or even over the course of the whole working life? One possibility is to retire earlier. Another possibility is to think about more holidays.”