The parent company of Uniqlo, a clothing chain, announced on Friday that it would allow some employees to work just four days per week.
Fast Retailing is the parent company of Uniqlo, and it said that the newly introduced program will allow around 10,000 employees at Uniqlo in Japan to work 10 hours for days out of seven. This doesn’t mean that Uniqlo employees will end up getting three days off in a row, according to CNBC.
According to ABC, Uniqlo offers the four-day work week option to its employees in Japan. Also, workers at Uniqlo may be asked to work weekends, as well as holidays. Uniqlo is hoping that this policy will help them retain valued workers, as well as attract new workers to the company.
Uniqlo also operates stores throughout the United States. If the four-day work week policy does well in Japan, Uniqlo could end up introducing it to its employees in America. Uniqlo said that this could happen by October.
A spokesman for Uniqlo said that the program was huge and they are working towards empowering women in the workforce. The Uniqlo spokesman continued to say that the idea is that if people have kids, then they will have a lot more flexibility.
In regards to how many employees are expected to accept the offer, Uniqlo said it expects around 20 percent of its workers to accept it. Not only could Uniqlo end up allowing its employees in America the four-work week option, but workers at the Uniqlo headquarters in Japan could be offered the chance to work four days per week.
Other businesses, such as retailers, service business and restaurants in Japan could follow in Uniqlo’s steps. According to CNN, industry observers said that a compressed work week could be offered in a bid to attract workers, especially with the labor shortages in Japan.
According to Japan Times, Fast Retailing is hoping to reduce its turnover rate, as it is quite high. It is also wanting to hire more full-time local employees. Uniqlo’s parent company is hoping to increase the number of locally hired employees from 10,000 to 16,000.
Uniqlo is not the only company that has taken steps to make workers happy. As a matter of fact, a few weeks Netflix announced that for up to one year, eligible employees could take unlimited maternity and paternity leave. Asides from Uniqlo and Netflix, Microsoft also recently decided to enhance parental leave to its employees.
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