Some frequently asked questions about the four-day week and how to get there.
What is a four-day week?
Does working a standard working week (40 hours) over four days instead of five count as a four-day week?
Is a four-day week realistic?
Is it difficult to implement a four-day week?
The best implementations of the four-day week are well planned and involve a thorough consultation with staff beforehand. There is no one-size-fits-all model. Implementation will need to be flexible and carefully calibrated. Employers and unions will need to cooperate to reduce hours in each sector.
How would it work for the construction and manufacturing industries?
Construction work can be one of the hardest jobs in terms of physical impact so there is a strong argument for a four-day week in the industry to protect workers from injury and physical-ill health, and to prevent early retirement.
What happens to employees' hours/salary where they are already working part-time but the rest of the organisation is moving to a four-day week?
The most important thing is to speak to everyone and come to a solution which works for as many people as possible, but there are four basic options available:
Increase the pay of staff on part time hours to adjust for hourly increases in pay the reduction in working time would result in
Reduce the hours of people working part time in line with reductions everyone else is going through
Adjust annual leave entitlement to recognise the large uplift created by a four-day week
A combination of the above.
How does a four-day week apply to the self-employed and those on zero hours contracts?
Many self-employed people already have the freedom to choose to take a four-day week.
Is a four-day week just for people in office jobs?
No. In the UK there are already examples of construction, engineering, retail, hospitality and packaging companies all moving to a four-day week.
What happens with holiday allowances?
It tends to be the case that during a trial period holiday allowances stay the same. However when implemented permanently, it's expected that holiday allowances would be reduced in line with the overall reduction in working hours. For example, for those dropping down from a full-time 5 day week to a four-day week, they would see their holiday allowance reduced by 20%. This is seen as a fair option given that workers will be getting an extra day off each week with no reduction in pay.
Will I get paid less?
No. We are campaigning for a four-day week with no reduction in pay. This is the model which nearly all four-day week organisations have adopted and the model which is being used for Government-led trials in Scotland, Spain and Ireland.