Four-day week: ‘major breakthrough’ as most UK firms in trial extend changes

The vast majority of companies taking part in the world’s largest trial of a four-day week have opted to continue with the new working pattern, in a result hailed as evidence that it could work across the UK economy.

Of the 61 companies that entered the six-month trial, 56 have extended the four-day week, including 18 who have made it permanent.

The findings will be presented to MPs on Tuesday as part of a push urging politicians to give all workers in Britain a 32-hour week.


The UK pilot, which kicked off last June, has been promoted by 4 Day Week Global, a not-for-profit organisation founded in New Zealand, and overseen by the thinktank Autonomy and a team of academics.

Companies taking part were offered workshops and mentoring to help them rethink working practices. Staff were given the opportunity to remain on their existing salary, working across four days instead of five.


In total, about 2,900 employees across the UK have taken part in the pilot. Surveys of staff taken before and after found that 39% said they were less stressed, 40% were sleeping better and 54% said it was easier to balance work and home responsibilities.

The number of sick days taken during the trial fell by about two-thirds and 57% fewer staff left the firms taking part compared with the same period a year earlier.


Ryle, of the campaign, said: “The economy doesn’t need us to be working five days a week any more. It was 100 years ago, the shift to a five-day week, and the economy’s transformed since then.”

Source: Four-day week: ‘major breakthrough’ as most UK firms in trial extend changes | Work-life balance | The Guardian

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