More than 3,300 workers in 70 companies in the UK, ranging from a local fish and chips to large financial firms, start working a four-day week from this Monday without loss of salary in the world’s largest test of the new work pattern.
The pilot programme lasts six months and is being organised by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with the Autonomy group of experts, 4 Day Week Campaign and researchers from the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and Boston College.
The test is based on the 100:80:100 model: 100% payment for 80% of the time, in exchange for the commitment to maintain 100% productivity. The trial, announced as the world’s largest working week reduction, aims to help companies reduce the workweek without cutting wages and incomes.
The six-month period will give companies time to experiment and collect data. Adaptation, according to British experts, should be easier for SMEs, which can implement major changes more quickly. The goal of the campaign is also to increase the productivity and well-being of employees while reducing the company’s carbon footprint.
A shorter workweek is also expected to attract new employees and help retain the best, which is very important in the British labour market. There they are at the lowest level of unemployment in almost 50 years and it is estimated that there are 1.3 million vacancies.