Thousands of UK workers start four-day work week trial

Published On: June 7, 2022Categories: Latest News1.4 min read

The program is being run by 4 Day Week Global, Autonomy and the 4 Day Week UK Campaign in partnership with researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College

Thousands of UK workers are starting a four-day work week from Monday with no cut to their pay in the largest trial of its kind.

The pilot, which will last for six months, involves 3300 workers spanning 70 companies, ranging from providers of financial services to a fish-and-chip restaurant.

During the program, workers receive 100 per cent of their pay for working only 80 per cent of their usual week, in exchange for promising to maintain 100 per cent of their productivity.

The program is being run by not-for-profit 4 Day Week Global, Autonomy, a think tank, and the 4 Day Week UK Campaign in partnership with researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.

Until now, Iceland had conducted the biggest pilot of a shorter working week between 2015 and 2019, with 2500 public sector workers involved in two large trials.

Those trials found no corresponding drop in productivity among participants, and a dramatic increase in employee well-being.

Calls to shorten the working week have gathered steam in recent years in several countries. As millions of employees switched to remote work during the pandemic – cutting onerous commuting time and costs – calls for greater flexibility have only grown louder.

Government-backed trials are set to take place in Spain and Scotland later this year, the 4 Day Week Campaign said in a press release.

Joe O’Connor, CEO of 4 Day Week Global, said that the workers have shown they can work ‘shorter and smarter’.

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, he said in the statement.

About the Author: Jonathan Adams

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