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What is the four-day work week trial and are you paid the same?


A four-day week pilot scheme has begun in the UK after the pandemic brought marked changes to working practices.

But how does the trial work and will it affect how much you’re paid?

Businesses adopted shorter weeks as attitudes towards flexible working shifted due to the pandemic

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Businesses adopted shorter weeks as attitudes towards flexible working shifted due to the pandemicCredit: Getty

What is the four-day week pilot?

From June 6, 2022, thousands of UK employees will take part in a four-day week trial.

The scheme, which will last six months, will see more than 30 companies taking part, and test whether workers can maintain 100 percent productivity while only working 80 percent of the time.

Firms adopted shorter weeks as attitudes towards flexible working have shifted due to the pandemic.

Atom Bank hit the headlines in late 2021 when it moved to a permanent four-day week without reducing pay.

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It’s being led by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with the think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK Campaign and researchers at Oxford University, Boston College, and Cambridge University.

The research team will work with each organisation to track the impact of reduced hours on productivity, worker wellbeing, and the effect on gender equality and the environment.

Other trials are taking place alongside the UK pilot scheme in the US, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Are you paid the same for a four-day work week?

Several countries have successfully trialled a four-day system in the last six years including Iceland and Spain, and now the UK is giving it a go.

But while working reduced hours may sounds great, you might be wondering what affect it could have on their income.

The answer is, the scheme will have no effect on the wages of those participating.

Workers will not have their wages docked and will earn as much as they do when working a standard five-day week.

Which companies are taking part in the four-day work week trial?

Over 3,000 workers at 70 organisations across the country will be part of the trial.

Organisers have said it’s the biggest four-day week pilot in the world.

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Those involved in the pilot, including tech firm Canon, will be offering a support package that includes networking, workshops, mentoring, and access to top academic research.

The organisations taking part 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





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