Four-day working week trial starts in UK from today 4 months ago

Four-day working week trial starts in UK from today

Some 30 companies are expected to take part in the pilot

A trial of a four-day working week has launched in the UK, which will see employees work one day fewer a week for no loss of pay.

The six-month pilot programme is being performed by 4 Day Week Global along with think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK campaign and researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.

The concept is known as the 100:80:100 model, because employees will be getting 100 percent of their pay for 80 percent of their normal week but must agree to work at 100 percent productivity.

Companies involved will get support from the organisers of the trial, which includes access to experts and pioneers within the field, mentoring and research by top academics.

The organisers and experts will then look at the impact the four-day working week has on productivity, employee welfare, the environment and gender equality.

Previous studies have suggested that a four-day working week is better for both productivity and worker wellbeing.

The UK pilot will run alongside other trials across the US, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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Joe O’Connor, the Pilot Programme Manager for 4 Day Week Global, said: "More and more businesses are moving to productivity focused strategies to enable them to reduce worker hours without reducing pay. We are excited by the growing momentum and interest in our pilot program and in the four-day week more broadly.

"The four-day week challenges the current model of work and helps companies move away from simply measuring how long people are ‘at work’, to a sharper focus on the output being produced. 2022 will be the year that heralds in this bold new future of work."

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Brendan Burchill, professor in social sciences at Cambridge University, said: “With the social and environmental benefits of the shorter working week becoming clearer, grassroots support more widespread, and technology available to maintain productivity, the time has come for more organisations to take the leap and unravel the practicalities.

“This scheme has tremendous potential to progress from conversations about the general advantages of a shorter working week to focussed discussions on how organisations can implement it in the best possible way.”