THOUSANDS of UK employees will work a four-day week from today – and they won’t lose out on any wages.
Around 70 firms with more than 3,000 staff have signed up to take part in a six-month pilot which will give workers an extra day off each week.
Participating businesses will trial a four-day week but workers will not have their wages docked.
It’s based on the idea that staff can maintain maintain 100 per cent productivity while working 80 per cent of the time.
And they will stay on the same salary – while enjoying an extra rest day.
Companies that have signed up to the trial range from large corporate firms to small charities and a local chip shop.
During the pilot, the businesses will work with researchers to record the impact on productivity.
They will also track worker wellbeing and the impact on the environment and gender equality.
It comes after a growing list of other firms also adopted shorter weeks as attitudes towards flexible working shifted following the pandemic.
Atom Bank hit the headlines late last year when it moved to a permanent four-day week without reducing pay.
However instead of reducing employees’ hours, it made the four working days longer – leaving Fridays free for the whole company.
Some companies have trimmed hours down to give workers permanent 32-hour weeks with no loss of pay.
Leeds finance firm BWD introduced four-day week without reducing pay after a “remarkable” three-month trial in 2021.
London software developers IriusRisk also moved to a three-day weekend.
Which companies are offering a four-day week as part of the trial?
Around 70 companies are in the pilot but only 28 have publicly announced they are taking part.
The firms include:
- Royal Society of Biology – professional body
- Hutch – mobile game developers
- Yo Telecom – telecoms services
- Adzooma – online marketing services
- Pressure Drop Brewing – brewery
- Happy – workplace consultancy services
- Platten’s Fish and Chips – chip shop in Norfolk
- Eurowagens – car parts retailer
- Bookishly – online book and gifts shop
- Outcomes First Group – education and foster care services
- NeatClean – eco cleaning products firm
- 5 Squirrels – skincare branding consultancy
- Salamandra – animation studios
- Girling Jones – recruitment firm
- AKA Case Management – case management firm
- IE Brand & Digital – marketing company
- Helping Hands – at-home care services
- Trio Media – marketing agency
- Literal Humans – marketing agency
- Physiquipe – rehabilitation tech company
- Tyler Grange – landscape planning consultancy
- Timberlake Consultants -software firm
- Everledge – tech firm
- Scotland’s International Development Alliance – industry body for Scottish charities
- Amplitude – tech firm
- Stemette Futures – education organisation
- Comcen – computer supplies retailer
- We Are Purposeful – activism organisation
Can I ask my boss for a four-day week?
All employees have a right to request flexible working as long as you’ve been with your company for at least 26 weeks.
This is known as making a statutory application.
There are different types of flexible working requests you can make, such as switching to part time hours or compressing your working hours into fewer days.
Your boss has to consider the request, but they don’t have to agree and you might have to take a pay cut for working fewer hours.
To make a request, you should write to your employer who will then consider your proposal and make a decision, usually within three months.
If they agree, your contract will be updated to reflect the changes.
If they disagree, they have to give you a reason and you could complain to an employment tribunal if you feel it’s unfair.
The government has previously pledged to scrap the 26 week wait and allow workers to make a request on their first day of employment.
However no date has been given for the introduction of the new rule.
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