Don’t make regular Friday plans yet. The four-day workweek dream is no longer on the (legislative) table for 2023.
Prior to a committee vote Monday, sponsor Del. Vaughn Stewart withdrew the bill that would have created a first of its kind, five-year pilot program offering tax credits to private and public employers that shifted at least 30 employees to four-day schedules for at least one year.
The decision, the Montgomery County Democrat said, comes after consultation with his colleagues about the bill’s approach to luring businesses to participate by offering tax credits. Instead, he may seek funding to study the issue in the budget lawmakers are writing now.
“There is a legitimate question about tax credits,” Stewart said of the incentives.
One idea is working with the Department of Labor to create a study similar to that which inspired the legislation.
In a study published last year, the organization 4 Day Week Global looked at 33 companies that reduced work time for a period of six months. Both the employees and employers reported increased levels of satisfaction; nearly 97% of employees reported that they wanted to continue with the schedule. Participating employers also reported increases in both revenue and number of employees.
Critics, such as Maryland business trade groups, questioned whether the bill favored large companies over small businesses because of the 30 employee requirement.
Stewart says he believes a four-day workweek is now “a question of when and not if,” and he hopes Maryland can take steps to becoming a leader in the field. It is for this reason the delegate is not giving up on the idea.
“I will be introducing something on the issue next year, I can tell you that,” Stewart said.
Baltimore Banner reporter Alissa Zhu contributed to this article.