100+ UK companies permanently switch to a 4 day working week with zero cut in pay!

The British approach to a working week is changing, mainly due to the pandemic. According to StandOut CV, 47% of UK employees analyse a job application based on the work-life balance that it offers, with research from Hays finding that 30% of professional workers place a high priority on work-life balance when considering whether to accept a job.

It is argued by the 4 Day Week Campaign that the 9-5, 5 day working week is outdated, and that people are just as if not more productive over a 4 day working week than a 5 day working week.

According to the 4 Day Week Campaign, the UK works longer hours than most of Europe. They believe the adoption of a 4 day, 32 hour working week with no loss of pay would help to stop UK workers being so stressed, over worked and burnt out. They want to build a society where we work to live, rather than live to work.

To put the 4 day working week to the test, trails have taken part in England, Ireland, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Israel, Belgium, Sweden and Iceland.

Scotland is due to start a trial in 2023, and Wales are also considering a trail.


The UK 4 Day Week Pilot Programme

More than 70 companies have taken part in the UK pilot programme, starting in June 2022 and ending in December 2022, to trail the 4 day working week.


What have these studies found?

  1. Increased productivity or no loss in productivity
  2. The same amount of work was done in fewer hours
  3. Increased employee wellness and wellbeing
  4. Increased employee retention rates
  5. Increases in the attraction of employees wanting to join the firms
  6. It gave workers a better work-life balance
  7. Companies were attracting and retaining a greater pool of high quality, talented employees
  8. Reduction in employer costs


About 95% of the companies surveyed said productivity had either stayed the same or improved since the introduction (The Guardian).

A Henley Business School study in 2021 estimated that UK businesses would save a combined £104 billion a year if a four-day week was implemented across the entire workforce (4dayweek.co.uk).


According to the 4 Day Week Campaign, a 4 day working week would also help to improve:


  • The environment – ​research has shown that a four day week could reduce the UK’s carbon footprint by 127 million tonnes per year, which is the equivalent of taking 27 million cars off the road 
  • The cost of living –  a four day week with no loss of pay reduces the cost of childcare and commuting
  • Unemployment –  a four day week is an intuitively simple way to rebalance the economy and address many problems


The UK Campaign Director, Joe Royle, said he wants to see the adoption of a 4 day working week, with no loss of pay, become the normal way of working in the UK by the end of the decade.

If you’re looking to reduce your number of working days from 5 to 4, you may be interested in working a 4 on 4 off role. This shift pattern would mean that you work 4 days, then get 4 days off together – it works out that you only work half of the year but at full time hours!

You can keep up to date with 4 on 4 off placements available in your area here


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