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Four-Day Work Week at Saint Paul University


Ottawa, ON – Saint Paul University has received the support of the Bargaining Unit representing the Administrative Support Personnel to implement the four-day work week, effective Monday, July 4, 2022. As a result, all administrative support personnel at the University, both unionized and non-unionized, will work a 28-hour week (instead of 35) with the fifth day off. This is a four-month pilot project that could revolutionize the way Saint Paul University operates.

The new working regime is presented as an effort to reduce fatigue and pressure on mental health, which the pandemic has exacerbated. The University also recognizes that at a time when the amount of information processed by the employees seems to be at an all-time high, the mental respite associated with a shorter work week could lead to happier employees, who consequently will work more efficiently.

“We have made our expectations clear to the employees,” says Chantal Beauvais, Rector of Saint Paul University. “First and foremost, we want to create a work environment that is conducive to success, while allowing for a positive work-life balance. To do this, we will help all employees affected by the change find ways to function more effectively in performing their duties. This could mean some forms of cross-training, asking employees to think about how to save time throughout the day, and generally working together to ensure that we can continue to provide excellent service to the student body and stakeholders of the University.”

The new work structure should prove beneficial. Among other things, the shorter work week should attract new talent to the organization while increasing employee retention. As well, it will not affect current salaries or pension plans. The University and the Bargaining Unit believe that this change will contribute to improved staff well-being overall.

Carole Audet, Associate Vice Rector, Talent, Diversity and Culture, recognizes the importance of this change. “We would probably be the first university in Canada to implement the shortened work week – it’s a revolutionary change. We’re not implementing a compressed work week and we’re not cutting pay. We hope to be a successful case study for others to follow this path, to foster a better work-life balance for all.”

For more information (media only), please contact :

Scott Fowler
Manager – Communications, Web and Marketing
Saint Paul University
613-236-1393 ext. 2338

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