Majority Of Canadians Support A Shortened Work Week: Survey

A majority of Canadians support a four-day work week.

More than half of Canadians said they support the idea of shortening the standard work week, according to a survey released by the Angus Reid Institute.

Asked if they think it is a good idea to make a new 30-hour work week, also known as a four-day work week, standard in Canada, 53% of respondents answered "yes." That’s more than twice the number of both those who said it’s a bad idea (22%) and those who said they are not sure or can’t say (25%).

This represents an increase in support of six percentage points compared to 2018, when in a separate study, 47% of respondents said they thought a four-day work week is a good idea. The increase in support may be driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges it has presented for many unemployed Canadians.

The study found that Canadians who have applied for emergency government aid such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) are more likely to support the idea of shortening the work week. Almost three in five (58%) of respondents who are government-aid applicants said a four-day work week is a good idea. That compares to 50% of those who have not applied for aid programs.

The idea of a shortened standard work week is not new. But the idea has recently gained traction after the announcement of a pilot project in a Nova Scotia municipality, and after New Zealand and Finland’s prime minister each promoted the four-day work week.

The survey was conducted online among 1,510 Canadian adults between June 8 and June 10. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.