In September 2023, Brazil embarked on a 9-month trial of the 4-day workweek as a part of a collaborative effort

  • Large 4 day week pilot
  • South America

4 Day Work Week in Brazil

In September 2023, Brazil embarked on a 9-month trial of the 4-day workweek as a part of a collaborative effort with 4 Day Week Brazil, 4 Day Week Global, and Reconnect Happiness at Work.

The experiment included an initial three-month phase dedicated to masterclasses, planning, and laying the foundational groundwork for the initiative. This preparatory period lasted until December 2023, setting the stage for the subsequent implementation of the 4-day workweek for the following six months.

Pilot Companies

Currently, 22 companies in five Brazilian states have participated actively in this experiment, encompassing around 400 workers. 70% of these firms chose to apply a 4-day workweek across their entire workforce, while the remaining 30% chose to conduct the trial within specific departments only.

There were many factors that drove these organizations to be a part of this experiment, including:

  • Desire to overcome challenges related to attracting and retaining talent
  • Pursuit to boost productivity and employee engagement
  • Aim to elevate employees' quality of life
  • Commitment to foster progressive shifts in workplace culture

Pilot Format

As per the guidelines of the pilot program, the Brazilian government instructed participating companies to adopt the 100:80:100 approach by 4 Day Week Global. Under this model, employees receive their full pay while working 20% fewer hours. However, they are expected to maintain full productivity to ensure the success of the trial run.

To implement this, a significant number of companies adopted a unified day-off schedule, with the majority opting for Fridays off. However, some companies divided these days between Monday and Friday among their workforce, while a minority allowed workers to select their weekly day off themselves.

4-Day Work Week Companies in Brazil

Even before Brazil's widespread 4-day workweek experiment, many organizations had already adapted to this condensed schedule.

Let’s have a brief look at them:

1. Zee.Dog

Zee.Dog, a Brazilian pet products company, is recognized as the pioneer in Brazil for following a 4-day workweek. Established in 2011, it has become a leader in innovative pet accessories, setting trends not only in product design but also in workplace culture.

The company’s efforts to implement a 4-day workweek model were led by its co-founder and creative director, Thadeu Diz, inspired by a global trend sparked by Andrew Barnes. This transition was made after the COVID-19 pandemic when a remote work arrangement was first adopted.

However, in February 2021, Zee.Dog adopted the 4-day workweek model, allowing employees to take every other Wednesday off, adapting to the new normal of work while maintaining productivity.

The following results were noted after Zee.Dog’s implementation of a 4-day workweek:

  • Workforce Contentment: It was significantly elevated with employees enjoying the unique benefit of mid-week breaks every other week. This innovative approach to work-life balance has resulted in increased job enthusiasm and overall happiness within the staff.
  • Maintained Operational Output: The shift did not come at the cost of work quality or output. Instead, it encouraged employees to prioritize tasks more effectively, maintaining productivity levels.
  • Talent Dynamics: Zee.Dog's adoption of the 4-day workweek positioned the company as a leader in workplace innovation, making it highly attractive to many job seekers. This approach has improved the firm's ability to attract top talent who are passionate about work-life balance.

2. Winnin

Winnin, a Rio de Janeiro-based martech startup, specializes in tracking online video consumption data. Under the leadership of CEO and co-founder Gian Martinez, the company has embraced a 4-day workweek model.

Initiated in 2021 as a social experiment, it underwent extensive preparation, including reducing unnecessary meetings and establishing clear KPIs to measure success.

After a one-month trial demonstrated the initiative's efficacy, Winnin made the decision to implement the 4-day work week permanently.

The below outcomes were obtained following Winnin's adaptation of a compressed workweek model:

  • Increase in Mental and Physical Health Attention: The initiative resulted in a 41.9% increase in employees' focus on their mental and physical health. This significant uplift gave them more time to engage in activities that contribute to their well-being, fostering workplace productivity.
  • Increased Sense of Purpose and Belonging: Employees experienced an increased sense of purpose, belonging, and pride in the company. This shift is indicative of a more engaged and motivated workforce.
  • Enhanced Work-Life Balance: The implementation of the 4-day work week led to a notable improvement in work-life balance among workers. It proved useful in maintaining a healthy relationship between professional obligations and personal life, reducing stress and burnout rates.

3. Signifyd

Founded in 2011, Signifyd is a fraud protection company specializing in securing eCommerce transactions through machine learning and big data analysis.

The implementation of the 4-day workweek at the firm was initiated as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to support employee well-being and productivity.

This shift was implemented permanently from 1st March 2022 and aimed to maintain operational efficiency while granting employees an additional day for personal time.

Signifyd observed the following changes in its workforce as a result of a 4-day workweek schedule:

  • Employee Satisfaction: Significantly improved, with workers experiencing a more substantial work-life balance. The additional day off allowed staff more time for personal activities, hobbies, and family, contributing to overall happiness and job satisfaction.
  • Productivity: The company observed that productivity levels either remained consistent or increased despite the reduced working hours. This demonstrates that employees were more focused and efficient during their condensed work schedules.
  • Recruitment and Retention: Signifyd's adoption of a four-day workweek made it a more attractive employer in the competitive tech industry. It experienced a noticeable improvement in attracting top talent and retaining existing employees who valued the company’s commitment to work-life balance

Vacation Policy in Brazil

According to Brazil’s vacation policy, employees are entitled to 30 days of paid vacation annually after the first year of employment.

Employers must also provide a vacation bonus equivalent to one-third of the monthly salary. This should be paid at least two days before the vacation.​

These holidays can be taken in up to three segments, with one consisting of at least 14 consecutive days and the others five consecutive days each.

Workers have the option to sell back up to 10 days of their vacation to their employer each year. However, this transaction must be initiated by the employee, not the employer.

Overtime in Brazil

Brazil’s overtime regulations specify that employees who work beyond the 44-hour workweek are considered overtime workers. The maximum overtime duration is set to 2 hours for each day, and such employees are entitled to an additional payment.

This amount is calculated at 150% of their regular salary rate for any time worked over the standard hours. It increases to 200% on holidays and weekends​​.

Also, night work, performed between 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM, is paid at least 120% more than the standard hourly wage​. Each hour of night work is considered 52.5 minutes.

Part-Time Working In Brazil

Part-Time Working In Brazil


In Brazil, part-time employment, where individuals work less than 30 hours per week, constitutes a notable portion of the labor market. The OECD data from 2022 show that the part-time employment rate in Brazil stands at 14.2% of total employment.

Brazilian labor laws provide a robust framework of protections for part-time workers, ensuring they receive many of the same benefits and rights as full-time employees. This includes:

  • Entitlement to paid vacations
  • Protection against discrimination
  • Access to unemployment funds
  • 13th-month salary (an additional month's wage paid annually)
  • Severance fund contributions (FGTS) by employers​

Remote Work In Brazil

Recently, remote work has solidified its presence in Brazil's post-pandemic labor market. Approximately 9.5 million people, or 9.8% of the workforce, continue to work from home. The demographic breakdown reveals a higher engagement in remote work among women (8.7%) than men (6.8%).