One hundred British companies to give workers a four-day week - with no loss of pay for workers

28 November 2022, 07:37 | Updated: 28 November 2022, 07:46

One hundred UK firms are taking part in a trial of a four-day working week
One hundred UK firms are taking part in a trial of a four-day working week. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Thousands of people at 100 British companies are moving to a four-day week in a UK first, and the employees won’t suffer any loss of pay.

Around 2,600 people at 100 companies including Atom Bank and marketing firm Awin will move to a four-day working pattern.

Proponents of the four-day week argue it drives better productivity and happier workers and improves firms’ ability to attract and retain workers.

They also argue that the five-day pattern is a hangover from an earlier economic age.

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Adam Ross, Awin’s chief executive, said adopting the four-day week was “one of the most transformative initiatives we’ve seen in the history of the company.

“Over the course of the last year and a half, we have not only seen a tremendous increase in employee wellness and wellbeing but concurrently, our customer service and relations, as well as talent relations and retention also have benefited.”\

The 4 Day Week Campaign group is coordinating the UK’s biggest pilot for about 70 companies, employing about 3,300 workers.

In September,  88% of the companies in a survey at the middle of the trial said the four-day week was working “well” for their business at that stage of the trial. About 95% of the companies surveyed said productivity had either stayed the same or improved since the introduction.

15% of firms surveyed said productivity had surged dramatically.

However some firms previously said they struggled with confusion over rotas.

Samantha Losey, boss of communications firm Unity, told The Telegraph last month: “It's more likely that we won't carry on now. One of the things that has struck me is whether or not we are a mature enough business to be able to handle the four-day week.

“The rest of the world not doing four-day weeks makes it challenging. We agreed we'd go all the way through the pilot, but I'm questioning whether this is the right thing for us long-term. It's been bumpy for sure.”

A trial in France previously found workers were putting in the same amount of hours of actual work, even with a day less each week.