Chile has reduced the workweek from 45 hours to 40 over five years. A Bill to this effect was recently passed with a majority (127) supporting it and only 14 voting against it. As per the new law, employees will work one less hour a week per year until the workweek reaches 40 hours, which will then be in line with most of the industrialised countries around the world.
With this shortening of the workweek, Chile will become the third country in South America, after Ecuador and Venezuela, to have the shortest workweek.
This is part of the social and economic reforms that President Gabriel Boric has been working towards. However, the informal sector will still not benefit from this Bill.
While many companies in Chile have already showed their support to the new Bill, some smaller firms feel they lack the resources to hire more employees to make up for the lost hours.
The law — which was first mooted about six years ago — most Chileans feel is a step in the right direction to ensure workers’ rights.
South America is known for its long work hours, with employees in Peru, Mexico, Argentina and Panama putting in 48 hours a week and Brazilians putting in 44!
The French follow a 35-hour workweek, and are reportedly the most productive lot in the European Union (EU) and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The British and the Germans usually follow 40-hour workweeks, with a cap at 48 hours.
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