Swedish Six-Hour Workday Runs Into Trouble: Itís Too Costly


A two-year experiment cutting working hours while maintaining pay levels for nurses at Svartedalen old peopleís home in the Swedish city of Gothenburg is now nearing the end. The take away was largely positive, with nurses at the home feeling healthier, which reduced sick-leave, and patient care improving.

But the city has no plans in making the measure permanent or broadening it to other facilities. To do that it would need much more money and even help from the national government. To cover the reduced hours for the 68 nurses at the home it had to hire 17 extra staff at a cost of about 12 million kronor ($1.3 million).

ďItís associated with higher costs, absolutely,Ē said Daniel Bernmar, a local left-wing politician responsible for running the municipalityís elderly care. ďItís far too expensive to carry out a general shortening of working hours within a reasonable time frame.Ē

sounds great for the worker - same pay less ours, more people hired .... sucks for the business