UK Starts 4-Day Work Week Trial For 3300 Employees Across 70 Companies: 100% Salary For 80% Time!

UK Starts 4-Day Work Week Trial For 3300 Employees Across 70 Companies: 100% Salary For 80% Time!
UK Starts 4-Day Work Week Trial For 3300 Employees Across 70 Companies: 100% Salary For 80% Time!

Thousands of employees across 70 companies in Britain have started the first day of a four-day workweek on Monday as part of the world’s largest trial.

How It Will Work

The trial program seeks to measure the productivity and wellbeing of employees during the period.

During the trial, they will get 100 percent pay for 80 percent of the hours they usually work in exchange for a commitment to give 100 percent productivity.

More than 3,300 workers in banks, marketing, health care, financial services, retail, hospitality and other industries in Britain are participating. 

The Study

The six-month trial is organised by the nonprofit groups 4 Day Week Global and 4 Day Week UK Campaign, and Autonomy, an organisation that studies the impact of labour on well-being.

Researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College will assess its effect on productivity and quality of life.

The data would be collected through interviews, staff surveys and the measures each company uses to assess its productivity.

The results will come out in 2023.

Other Trials Across The Globe

The UK program follows similar efforts in other countries, including Iceland, New Zealand, Scotland and the United States.

Companies in these countries have embraced greater flexibility in work hours as more people worked remotely and adjusted their schedules during the pandemic.

The campaign director for the 4 Day Week Campaign Joe Ryle said that after the pandemic, people want a work-life balance which they can get by working less.

Companies Embrace The Concept

Sociology professor at Boston College and lead researcher on the project Juliet Schor explained that the researchers will study how “employees respond to having an extra day off, in terms of stress and burnout, job and life satisfaction, health, sleep, energy use, travel and many other aspects of life”.

The participating employers have embraced the concept and say that a better work-life balance would make people work more efficiently and effectively.

It would also lead to a happier workforce.

In order to achieve all that, employers will need to restructure the way they work.

This means addressing problems such as the excessive number of meetings, excessive length and lack of efficiency in meetings.

In India

Last February, the Labour Ministry of India made a proposal which outlines how a shorter work week will be implemented.

The proposal could provide companies with the flexibility of four working days in a week.

However there will be longer working hours if the working days are reduced.

The working hours limit of 48 hours for a week will remain “sacrosanct”, Labour and Employment Secretary Apurva Chandra said.

Longer Days, Reduced Pay

So, a four day workweek will have to meet the 48-hour weekly work hour quota.

This would result in daily shifts of 12 hours, which will correspondingly reduce if there is a five-day or six-day working week.

However, there would be a reduction in taking home pay and employees and firms will have to bear a higher provident fund liability.

This means there will be more money in PFs and less in-hand salary.

The government is expected to implement the new labour codes in the next financial year, which will pave the way for a four-day workweek.

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