Finnish PM Calls for Shorter Work Week After Taking 4-Week Vacation in Middle of Global Crisis

The fact that millennials are obsessed with establishing a "sustainable" work-life balance is hardly novel.

Earlier this year, a group of Goldman Sachs junior analysts captivated the financial press with a slide deck about their unbearable 100-hour weeks.

Meanwhile, intense deal flow during the year 2020 prompted investment banking analysts to work mind-numbing hours from their parents' homes in the suburbs, while banks like Jefferies handed out hefty bonuses and gifts like Pelotons and iPads.

But while junior bankers are eternally grateful for their "protected" Saturdays, the Prime Minister of Finland just returned from a 4-week vacation, taken in the middle of COVID's delta surge and the start of what many fear will be another brutal refugee crisis. Instead of rising to the challenge and leading, Finnish PM Sanna Marin told Bloomberg that she wants to "improve the lot of workers of the world" ...by refusing to work.

Amusingly, Marin maintains that there's much more to be done to make working life more equitable, secure and enjoyable. The PM says she wants to push for shorter hours for workers as productivity improves, alongside better protection for gig workers and fair employment rules to stop work from encroaching on personal time.

"We need to change the world to improve people’s wellbeing and happiness,” she said in an interview at her seaside residence in Helsinki on Wednesday. Shorter hours would mean “people would have more time for their families and loved ones, and their hobbies and life."

In recent months, there's been growing talk about a four-day workweek (something Marin has advocated). A few years ago, France outlawed sending work-related emails outside of work hours as part of the so-called "right to disconnect."

While lengthy holidays are common in western Europe (Italian workers are said to get as much as 7 weeks off per year), taking such a long sojourn in the middle of a global crisis might seem baffling to most Americans. Imagine if, say, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem took four weeks off in the middle of the summer? The MSM attacks would probably never end.

But it's not just shorter hours and more vacation that Marin is pushing for. Marin insists that more vacation and shorter hours are critical to creating a more welcoming environment for women, especially mothers, in the workplace.

While that sounds all well and good, the notion of a world leader taking such a long vacation likely wouldn't fly in a larger, more economically critical, country like the US (cue liberals whining about President Trump's frequent golf outings).

Recently, Bumble, the female-focused dating app, announced unlimited time off and generous leave benefits for its workers (women working at the company can take weeks off if they have a miscarriage, or if a pet dies).

Such allowances, of course, would be unthinkable for men (just imagine telling an MD that you can't be staffed on an upcoming deal because you need time to mourn the loss of your cat).

And while women lead the charge for better work-life balance, we can't help but wonder: if women want to earn as much as men, and - most importantly - enjoy equal respect and responsibilities in the workplace, is this really the best way to go about accomplishing that?

You can read this article as it originally appears at Zero Hedge here.

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