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Four-day work week back on Vic poll agenda

Female-dominated workplaces in Victoria would be prioritised as part of a new four-day working week model pitch.

Female-dominated workplaces in Victoria would be prioritised as part of a new four-day working week model pitch. Photo: Getty

A four-day working week has been pushed back onto the Victorian election agenda despite both major parties rejecting the idea.

Victorian Greens Leader Samantha Ratnam on Monday pitched a $60 million fund to help a transition to a four-day working week model.

Under the two-year trial, Victorian-owned entities and departments with less than $50 million in annual turnover would be eligible to apply for the funding.

Female-dominated workplaces would be prioritised and the cash used to increase staff numbers in frontline workplaces, or support systems and technology within workplaces to adapt to a new schedule.

Workplaces would transition full-time staff to four days with no loss of pay or entitlements, while part-time workers would get a proportional reduction in working hours or an equivalent pay rise.

Similar pilot programs have been launched in Canada, the United States and Ireland, with outstanding results, Ms Ratnam said.

“Workers often achieve the same or greater output, and with a much more reasonable work-life balance,” she said.

The Community and Public Sector Union have written to parties to ask for their position on a four-day week for its staff and the wider sector.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy last week publicly declared they did not support the proposal.

Two weeks out from early voting centres opening, new polling indicates millions of Victorians are yet to make up their minds.

A Resolve Strategic survey of 800 voters, taken from October 20 to 24 and published in The Age on Monday, found 27 per cent of respondents were uncommitted.

The cohort equates to a quarter of Victoria’s four million-plus enrolled voters who could be swayed in the lead up to the November 26 poll.

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