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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2021) . . Page.. 1917 ..


what a four-day work week might look like and whether it is the future of work. At that time the committee advised that it would be releasing a discussion paper in mid-June 2021 to coincide with its call for public submissions.

Pursuant to standing order 246A, the committee released its discussion paper on Wednesday, 16 June to assist individuals and organisations to prepare written submissions to its inquiry. A discussion paper has sought to consider and provide contextual background for each of the terms of reference to assist submitters.

The paper is organised around the key themes contained within the terms of reference and provides information on: (1) defining the concept of the working week, including history of the concept and development of working time and week to the modern era and future drivers; (2) the distinction between work compression and work reduction; (3) advantages and disadvantages of work time reduction, including evidence base for working time reduction models; (4) policy frameworks—framing, transitional and regulatory considerations; and (5) some jurisdictional case studies.

While the committee does not have a particular view at this time about what a four-day work week would look like and whether it is in fact the future of work, arguments may be anticipated on both sides of the question as to whether a four-day work week is the future of the working week.

On the one hand, it may be seen as costly, unaffordable, difficult to implement in some industries and sectors, and unrealistic. On the other hand, there are arguments for fewer working hours. Some are economic, some are about health and wellbeing, environmental sustainability and stronger communities, and some have to do with equity and equality.

Importantly, the discussion paper and the committee’s inquiry are about having a public conversation about the future of the working week; in particular, the validity of the standard working week and whether or not it does merit change to a four-day working week.

The committee encourages interested individuals and key stakeholder groups and organisations to make a written submission to this inquiry. The call for submissions closes on Monday, 1 November 2021.

Statement by chair

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (10.46): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Economy and Gender and Economic Equality. As members will be aware, on Tuesday, 2 June 2021, pursuant to standing order 99, the Assembly referred the petition “Monumental Women” to the committee for consideration. The committee has considered that petition and decided to incorporate its requests as part of a widened inquiry.

Pursuant to standing order 216, the committee has resolved to inquire into memorialisation through public commemoration. While the committee’s inquiry expands on the scope of the petition, the requests made by the petitioners to the


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