While Germany’s working-time debate continues apace and the country’s trade unions seek working time arrangements that include employees’ needs alongside company profits, the ZEITREICH (Time-Rich) project continues its pioneering progress. Launched in July 2016 with backing from the German Labor Minister, ZEITREICH seeks to assist SMEs devise, test, and implement innovative working time models that cater both to the interests of companies as well as those of employees. To date 13 have either companies and administrative bodies participated or are still participating in the project. The participants are operating across four different sector (Metallurgy and electro-technical, Retailing, Chemicals, Public authorities administration). ZEITREICH is scheduled to come to a close in June 2019. One of the project’s leaders, Harmut Seifert, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for social and economic science (WSI) of the Hans Böckler foundation sat down with Planet Labor to discuss the project’s specifics and challenges, and the initial lessons that can be drawn from the experience. Jörg Böttcher and Marco Hilbers, first and second chairmen of the Emco Group WC also shared the solutions that were secured as part of the ZEITREICH project for the 610 staff working at the Emco head office in Lingen.
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