Four-day week trial: list of UK companies taking part, do employees get same pay - will it become permanent?

Around 86% of the companies taking part in the trial said they would keep the four-day week policy going as it is working well for their businesses

Some UK firms taking part in a four-day working week trial have said they will keep it in place after the pilot ends.

More than 70 firms took part in the scheme where employees get 100% pay for 80% of their normal hours worked.

The trial lasted six months, and was the biggest four-day week pilot to take place anywhere in the world. Firms worked alongside university researchers who measured the impact on productivity and the wellbeing of staff.

At the halfway point in the six-month trial, data showed that productivity had been maintained or improved at the majority of firms. Around 86% of those surveyed said they would keep the four-day week policy going after the trial ends. The majority of firms said it is working well for their business, while 95% said productivity had stayed the same or improved during the shorter week.

What was the four-day working week trial?

The trial was organised 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.

More than 3,300 employees are getting one paid day off per week through the course of the trial, and the UK trial is part of pilots happening in the US, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

What has the trial found?

4 Day Week said that employees had benefitted from lower commuting and childcare costs. It claimed that a parent with two children would save £3,232.40 on average per year or roughly £269.36 per month.

Will Stronge, director of research at Autonomy, said: “A four-day week with no loss of pay could play a crucial role in supporting workers to make ends meet over the next few years.”

Waterwise, which campaigns to decrease how much water is used in the UK, is one of the firms taking part in the scheme. It said its team are now “pretty happy” - but it took some getting used to, the BBC reports.

Waterwise managing director, Nicci Russell, said: “It wasn’t a walk in the park at the start. But no major change ever is. We have all had to work at it.

“Some weeks are easier than others and things like annual leave can make it harder to fit everything in, but we’re much more settled with it now overall than we were at the start. We certainly all love the extra day out of the office and do come back refreshed. It’s been great for our wellbeing and we’re definitely more productive already.”

Which companies took part in the trial?

Companies taking part provide products and services ranging from education to workplace consultancy to professional development and legal training.

There are around 70 companies and organisations in the pilot but only 28 have publicly announced they are taking part.

They include:

  • Royal Society of Biology - professional body
  • Hutch - mobile game developers
  • Yo Telecom - telecoms services
  • Adzooma - online marketing services
  • Pressure Drop Brewing - brewery
  • Happy - workplace consultancy services
  • Platten’s Fish and Chips - chip shop in Norfolk
  • Eurowagens - car parts retailer
  • Bookishly - online book and gifts shop
  • Outcomes First Group - education and foster care services
  • NeatClean - eco cleaning products firm
  • 5 Squirrels - skincare branding consultancy
  • Salamandra - animation studios
  • Girling Jones - recruitment firm
  • AKA Case Management - case management firm
  • IE Brand & Digital - marketing company
  • Helping Hands - at-home care services
  • Trio Media - marketing agency
  • Literal Humans - marketing agency
  • Physiquipe - rehabilitation tech company
  • Tyler Grange - landscape planning consultancy
  • Timberlake Consultants -software firm
  • Everledge - tech firm
  • Scotland’s International Development Alliance - industry body for Scottish charities
  • Amplitude - tech firm
  • Stemette Futures - education organisation
  • Comcen - computer supplies retailer
  • We Are Purposeful - activism organisation
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