Wed. Sep 28th, 2022
THOUSANDS of UK employees are working a four-day week – 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 the six-month scheme – and 86% want to continue it.

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Nine in 10 firms are eager to continue the trial[/caption]

Participating businesses are trialling a four-day week, organised by 4 Day Week Global, and workers will stay on the same salary

It’s based on the idea that staff can maintain maintain 100% productivity while working 80% of the time.

Companies that have signed up to the trial range from large corporate firms to small charities and a local chip shop.

Lead researcher Autonomy has found 86% – that’s nine in 10 companies – are eager to keep the scheme going after the six-month trial which kicked off at the beginning of June.

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Although there are 70 official companies trialling the scheme, it’s yet to be seen whether the positive response so far will encourage other businesses to follow suit.

Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula, said: “In terms of whether other companies are likely to adopt this trial, while there are certainly benefits for both employer and employee, I think many businesses would struggle to justify moving to this model right now, given the current economic climate.

“Many SME’s are struggling just to keep their doors open. Some could potentially adopt a 4-day work week to save money, but it would be unlikely that this would include employees maintaining 100% of their salary.”

But as bills soar during the cost of living crisis, the trial will be saving thousands of commuters petrol money and childcare costs.


Jack Kellam, researcher at Autonomy told The Sun: “At the halfway point of the world’s largest four-day week pilot, it’s really encouraging to see that almost nine in ten of the companies taking part are set to keep shorter working hours at the end of the trial.

“They’re just one part of the growing number of organisations around the world who have started to realise the benefits for productivity and well-being that come with the shift to reduced hours for no loss in pay.”

Kyle Lewis, co-director of Autonomy, also said: “The positive feedback at the mid-point of the trial is incredibly encouraging.

“The ongoing research from the pilot will not only communicate the journey that organisations involved have been on over the six month period, it will also provide rich learnings that can support other organisations and sectors considering switching to a four-day week in the future”.

Can I ask my boss for a four-day week?

You can ask your boss for flexible working hours but it could affect your pay.

There are a few restrictions, but it applies to most employees including parents, carers and those returning from maternity leave.

You have to be legally classed as an employee and have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks.

You can only make one request in a 12-month period.

Your boss has to consider your request but they don’t have to agree to it.

But employers have become more used to the idea of flexible working due to the pandemic, so may be more likely to say yes these days.

How do I put in a request?

You should put your request to your employer in writing, making it clear that you’re making a “statutory flexible working request”.

If you’re not sure who to address it to, check with your company’s human resources (HR) department.

Make sure you include the date you’re sending it, the change you’d like to make and when you’d like it to start.

It’s important to address how you would deal with any effects the change could have on your work or the company.

If you’ve made any previous flexible working requests, include the dates in your letter.

Finally, mention if your request relates to something covered by discrimination law, for example to make a reasonable adjustment for a disability.

But do note you don’t have the right to stay on your full salary if it’s granted.

You might be offered a lower wage to reflect the reduction in working hours.

There’s no harm in asking, but your company has the right to cut your pay in line with your working hours.

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Read here to learn how the four-day week helped one employee tackle childcare costs.

He saved thousands a year which means you could too.

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