UK four-day week pilot begins with 70 companies and thousands of workers

The biggest ever four-day working week pilot is set to begin in the UK, with over 70 companies and 3,300 workers ready to take part.

The trial will result in no loss of pay for employees, based on the principle of the 100:80:100 model.

Employees will receive 100 per cent of the pay for 80 per cent of the time in exchange for a commitment to maintaining 100 per cent productivity.

An impressive list of companies are taking part in the trial from a wide range of sectors including banking, care, online retail, IT software training, housing, animation studios, hospitality and many more.

The pilot is running for six months and is being organised by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with leading think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK Campaign and researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.

Joe O Connor, CEO of 4 Day Week Global, said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, more and more companies are recognising that the new frontier for competition is quality of life, and that reduced-hour, output-focused working is the vehicle to give them a competitive edge.

“The impact of the ‘great resignation’ is now proving that workers from a diverse range of industries can produce better outcomes while working shorter and smarter.”

Kirsty Wainwright, 34, is already working a four-day week and is confident the pilot will be a success

(4 Day Week )

Staff at Plattens Fish and Chips in Wells-Next-The-Sea, North Norfolk, are excited about taking part in the pilot.

Kirsty Wainwright, 34, is general manager of Plattens Fish and Chips in Wells-Next-The-Sea, North Norfolk. She is already working a four-day week and is confident the pilot rollout across the business for all staff is going to be a success.

Instead of a three-day weekend, staff are going to be rotating their days with two days on followed by two days off.

Mother-of-two Ms Wainwright said: “The option of working a four-day week was the main reason for choosing to work here.

“The hospitality industry has really unsociable working hours and it needs to change. It’s not surprising the industry has been struggling with recruitment given the excessively long working hours.

Ed Siegel, CEO of Charity Bank, who are participating in the pilot, said the pandemic has had a profound effect on flexible working

(4 Day Week)

“On a five-day week I didn’t get to see my kids enough. Spending more time with my kids is the best thing about a four-day week. It’s amazing.”

Ed Siegel, CEO of Charity Bank, who are participating in the pilot, said: “We have long been a champion of flexible working, but the pandemic really moved the goalposts in this regard. For Charity Bank, the move to a four-day week seems a natural next step.

“The 20th-century concept of a five-day working week is no longer the best fit for 21st-century business. We firmly believe that a four-day week with no change to salary or benefits will create a happier workforce and will have an equally positive impact on business productivity, customer experience and our social mission.”

Researchers will work with each participating organisation to measure the impact on productivity in the business and the wellbeing of its workers, as well as the impact on the environment and gender equality.

Government-backed four-day week trials are also due to begin later this year in Spain and Scotland.


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