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  • Gary Conroy

Metro: Dozens of UK firms are about to trial four-day working weeks with no loss in pay

The six-month pilot is expected to launch in the UK in June (Picture: PA)

Another 30 British companies have signed up to a six-month pilot of a four-day working week.

The trial will see no loss in pay for employees working one fewer day a week – instead they will be asked to maintain 100% productivity for 80% of their time.

In total just under 2,000 employees will be getting a paid day off weekly over the course of the pilot.

From a local fish and chip shop to large corporate companies, a wide range of businesses are set to take part.

4 Day Week Global founder Andrew Barnes said: ‘Following the advances made by Perpetual Guardian in New Zealand and various political and business leaders in Spain, Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Iceland and elsewhere, this next cohort of businesses trialling the model in the United Kingdom is laying the foundation for the future of work.

‘Alongside 4 Day Week Global they are gathering and sharing expanded data and helping build a template that will make it possible for many more businesses to trial, adapt and reap the benefits of emphasising productivity over time – and in doing so, comprehensively change how people engage in the world of work.’

The pilot has been launched by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK Campaign and researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.

The UK pilot is expected to launch in June and will run alongside other trials across the US, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Kyle Lewis, co-director of think tank Autonomy, said: ‘The interest in the UK pilot is a clear indication that organisations across a variety of sectors are ready to adapt to the future of work.

‘Among the real strengths of this pilot are how it embraces organisations of all sizes and models with a hugely diverse range of products and services, from hospitality to digital animation and everything in between.

‘This first-phase trial will connect businesses with training and mentoring support from international experts who have previously implemented similar programmes.’

The companies involved in the trial will be offered a package of support including workshops, mentoring, networking and access to world-class academic research.

Researchers will work with each organisation to measure the impact on productivity, the wellbeing of workers, and the impact on the environment and gender equality.

Several studies have shown that moving to a four-day week boosts productivity and the wellbeing of staff.

When Microsoft trialled a four-day week with no loss of pay in their Japan office, productivity went up by 40%.

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