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Thousands Of UK Workers Begin World’s Biggest Trial Of Four-Day Week

Claire Reid

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Thousands Of UK Workers Begin World’s Biggest Trial Of Four-Day Week

Thousands of UK workers will start a new four-day working week trial today. 

70 UK companies, employing more than 3,300 people, make this working pattern trial the largest to ever take place. 

The six-month trial, which was organised by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with the think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week Campaign, and researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College, pulled in a wide variety of employers, ranging from a fish and chip shop to a large financial firms. 

The trial is centred around the 100:80:100 model, which means workers receive 100 percent of their pay for working 80 percent of their usual hours, but will still committed to being 100 percent as productive. 

Thousands of UK workers will be starting the four-day working week trial today. Credit: Pixabay
Thousands of UK workers will be starting the four-day working week trial today. Credit: Pixabay

Amongst the companies taking part is automotive firm Eurowagens, based in Letchworth; Manchester’s Evolution Money Limited; Kent-based Charity Bank; Exeter recruitment company Girling Jones; IT company Comcen, based in Swansea; and Platten’s Fish and Chips in Wells-Next-The-Sea.

Joe O Connor, CEO of 4 Day Week Global, said: “The UK is at the crest of a wave of global momentum behind the four-day week.

“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.”

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

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.

There are high hopes for the trial. Credit: Pixabay
There are high hopes for the trial. Credit: Pixabay

“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.

“We are proud to be one of the first banks in the UK to embrace the four-day week and as one of our Board members put it, we believe ‘this trial will put Charity Bank on the right side of history.’”

And Wyatt Watts, 25, team leader at Platten’s Fish and Chips, said: “When I first heard we were going to be working less hours with the same pay, I thought to myself, ‘What’s the catch?’

"Usually I’m so exhausted from work I don’t have the energy, so hopefully having that extra time to rest will boost my energy levels.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: UK News

Claire Reid
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