Four-Day Working Week Pilot Launches in UK

A four-day working week six-month pilot programme has been launched today in the UK.

Participating companies and organisations will trial a four-day week with no loss in pay for employees based on the principle of the 100:80:100 model – 100 per cent of the pay for 80 per cent of the time, in exchange for a commitment to maintain at least 100 per cent productivity. 

4 Day Week Global organises the trial in partnership with leading think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK Campaign and researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.

Global initiative

The UK pilot will run in parallel with similar programmes run by 4 Day Week Global that are taking place this year in the USA, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. According to a statement, the governments of Scotland and Spain have also launched trials of the four-day week.

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

The organisers claim that numerous studies have shown that moving to a four-day week boosts productivity and workers’ wellbeing.

When Microsoft trialled a four-day week with no loss of pay in their Japan office, productivity went up by 40 per cent, they pointed.

In November, Atom Bank became the largest UK four-day week employer with all 430 staff moving to a four-day, 34-hour working week, with no reduction in pay.

Joe O’Connor, 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. 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.”

Meanwhile, Brendan Burchell, Professor in the Social Sciences at Cambridge University, explained that 

“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.”