Irish companies that trial a four day working week have been offered supports by a new organisation.

Four Day Week Ireland (4DWI) wants to encourage State bodies and private companies to reduce employees working time, while protecting pay and productivity.

The body is made up of representatives of a number of trade unions, academics, NGOs and businesses.

"We want to change the false narrative that working long hours is good for productivity and a badge of honour, challenge the worst excesses of the 'work-first, always-on' culture, and champion the importance of family time, leisure time, caring work and community work," said a statement on the group's website. 

"Our medium term objective is to move towards the four-day week being the standard work arrangement across the economy, with no loss of pay."

It claims a shorter working week is better for businesses and workers, as well as the environment.

The group also says a change would be particularly beneficial to women, as it would make it easier for mothers and fathers to share childcare responsibilities.

As part of its campaign it plans to launch a trademark for businesses that introduce a four-day week, while also supporting firms trialing the system through the experience of companies that have already made the change.

4DWI said it would also seek to engage with the Government "to explore how Ireland's largest single employer can encourage a reduction in working hours across the economy."

The group's steering committee has representatives from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Fórsa, Friends of the Earth Ireland, the National Women's Council of Ireland, Maynooth University, ICE Group and the British and international four-day week campaigns.