The FDP parliamentary group deputy Lukas Köhler is calling for the abolition of the eight-hour day – it is no longer appropriate. He also wants to reform the legally required breaks and rest times.

The FDP is pushing for the abolition of the eight-hour day to be included in the traffic light coalition’s planned economic turnaround package. “We should abolish the maximum daily working hours and only set a maximum weekly working time,” said the deputy FDP parliamentary group leader Lukas Köhler to the editorial network Germany (RND). “To do this, we would have to modernize the Working Hours Act accordingly.”

The eight-hour day is “a fossilized dogma from a time when fear of exploitation was massive. But the times have changed. The Working Hours Act comes from a world in which there was no home office. Hardly anyone can still endure this eight-hour dogma in their working day.” Such openings are initially conceivable for industries with strong collective agreements, such as the chemical industry, the postal and parcel market and the logistics industry. This is also conceivable in the IT industry and other professional fields with home office options. The changes would accelerate the economic turnaround.

The traffic light parties had agreed on experimental areas for new working time rules in their coalition agreement, but had not yet implemented this.

Köhler also spoke out in favor of relaxing the legally required breaks and rest times. “We should no longer impose rigid regulations,” he said. Many people were already working through their lunch break so they could go home earlier. Others sat down in front of the computer again later in the evening so that they could go to the playground with their children in the afternoon. “Of course they don’t have eleven more hours until they’re back in the office the next day. Many people are actually breaking the working time law because it makes their lives more relaxed. This flexibility should no longer be illegal,” said Köhler.

One could also think about relaxing the legal maximum limit for weekly working hours, which is currently 48 hours.