Four-day work week pilot launched in the UK

Roughly 30 companies are expected to take part

Olivia Petter
Tuesday 18 January 2022 06:46 GMT
(Getty Images)

Talk of the benefits of a four-day work week have circulated for years, but discussions have increased since the start of the pandemic triggered a nationwide shift in terms of how, and where, we work.

Now, it transpires that a six-month trial of a four-day working week is going to be launched in the UK.

Roughly 30 British companies are set to take part in the pilot scheme, with employees being paid for the same amount as if they were working five days a week.

The pilot is 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.

Those participating in the scheme are being asked to maintain 100 per cent productivity, but only 80 per cent of the time given that they will now have an additional day off each week.

While pilots will run in the UK, they will also launch in the US, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Among the companies involved are Canon, with the tech firm also offering employees a series of workshops, mentoring, and networking opportunities to maximise the pilot’s success.

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.

“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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