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BC Greens Call for a Four-day Work Week Pilot in BC

It's time for creativity in government that puts people's well-being first


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Credit: BC Greens

It’s time for creativity in government that puts people’s well-being first

Sonia Furstenau, leader of the BC Green Party, is calling for overarching, governmental change that reshapes the way forward for British Columbians—beginning with what we measure.

“I’m so tired of politicians spending their time arguing over systems that don’t work,” Furstenau says. “We know it’s not working and so do they, so let’s collectively work on improvements and systems of refinement.”

In countries like New Zealand, Iceland and Scotland, governments are measuring the well-being of people, communities and the environment to ensure government programs and services are improving the lives of people while shaping a healthier future.

Pilot Project in BC

“We need to ensure our economy and government decisions are creating positive outcomes for people,” Furstenau says. “One proposal we have is to pilot a four-day work week in BC—a measure that has improved the well-being of employees while delivering benefits to businesses.” 

This pilot program would encourage the government and British Columbians to rethink the meaning of work in modern society.  “A four-day work week—without cuts to pay or working longer hours—is exactly the kind of innovative, people-first approach that can spark renewal in our workplaces,” Furstenau says.

The BC Greens have been calling for a three-year pilot of the four-day week since 2020. If it were to move forward, the project would be Canada’s first. Furstenau recently ramped up the proposal by calling for tax breaks for businesses who offer a four-day work week.

Global Trials

Large-scale four-day work week trials around the world consistently produced the same, favourable data—most businesses were happy to continue with it, and employees felt less stressed, happier and more productive.

“Businesses also saw productivity stay the same or improve,” Furstenau says. “There is no one size fits all for how it works. Businesses come in different shapes and sizes, and the idea of the pilot project is to see if the government can support businesses to find models that work for them.”

Starting in BC

The pilot project in BC would introduce a 32-hour work week. Businesses would be required to report data to the province to better determine how to balance reduced hours, while maintaining the same rate of pay with benchmarks like productivity, employee well-being and employer satisfaction.

Government would publish annual interim reports of the data and findings with a final report at the trial’s conclusion.

“British Columbians are exhausted from trying to keep up with rising costs of living and inadequate healthcare, and business owners and managers are facing a significant labour shortage,” Fursteneau says. “BC can become the national leader in rethinking what it means to work in Canada.”

Learn more about the BC Green Party and the four-day work week at

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Created by BCBusiness in partnership with BC Green Party