The government wants to ban administrations from testing four-day weeks
Despite reports of success in initial attempts at a four-day week, the British state government wants to ban future experiments. Experts see a “massive abuse of power”.
And many companies are experimenting with a shortened work week while keeping wages the same. (thumbnail)
The South Cambridgeshire district, centered on the city of Cambridge, has also been experimenting with the four-day week for some time.
Not only the office staff in the administration, but also the staff working in the field have to work less as part of the trial. The district says it has already saved 500,000 pounds.
Imago Images/Everett Collection
However, the British government now wants to crack down on such attempts. Lee Rowley, the minister responsible for local government, threatened “necessary measures” to end the four-day week.
Bridget Smith, leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, has no idea. One source spoke of a “massive breach” of skills.
Sixty-one companies participated in the four-day week pilot program in Great Britain.
The aim was to find out if companies could maintain their productivity through reduced working hours without losing wages.
Employees found it easier to combine their work with family and social obligations.
20 min/Simon Glaser
Many spend freed up time on low-carbon activities.
20 min/Michael Scherer
Compared to the same period in 2021, sales at participating companies increased by more than a third on average during the trial period.
In Great Britain, local governments complain about massive government influence.
Various ministers should do their best to complete the tests in a four-day week.
Early trials in the South Cambridgeshire district have now saved a lot of money.
In Great Britain, government ministers have fueled a political row over attempts to introduce a four-day week for their employees with a clear warning to local authorities. There will be new guidelines Districts that have already implemented a four-day work weekIt was advised to stop this practice immediately and those planning to do so in the future to stop all testing programs.
The four-day week saved £500,000
The dispute centers on South Cambridgeshire District Council over the city of Cambridge. Only local government in England has experimented with the four-day working week. So office workers get both Field service employees earn the same salary as before, but work 20 percent less than before. According to the council, the trial has already led to savings in recruitment and temporary staffing – totaling half a million pounds saved. Similar efforts in Switzerland has also already delivered promising results.
While proponents argue that the four-day week benefits both employees and employers and increases well-being and productivity, the government fears the model “does not represent good value for money” and that quality will deteriorate. The British government did not provide any concrete evidence for this.
The government wants to complete the tests as soon as possible
Now she is threatening to take “necessary steps” to end the practice – but she refuses to reveal exactly what these will look like. Local Government Minister Lee Rowley has spoken out against the introduction of a four-day working week in local government and has called for the tests to be removed immediately where they have already been introduced.
Local county leaders are frustrated by excessive government influence. A source told the Guardian that the state government was “grossly overstepping its authority”.
Bridget Smith, leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, also campaigned for local council autonomy. Pete Marland, chair of the local councils’ resource group, cites difficulties in recruiting staff and argues that councils should be free to tackle these challenges in a variety of ways – including the trial introduction of a four-day week.
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