The policy, which would not involve loss of pay, increases morale and productivity
A Scottish charity is urging others to follow its example – and bring in a four day week for staff without loss of pay.
Advice Direct Scotland brought in the policy in 2018 and says it has had remarkable results.
Its employees receive the same pay but work for a day less each week.
The charity – which runs Scotland’s national advice service – says productivity and staff morale have improved, with absenteeism down by around 75%, and no reduction in the service offered.
It made the call after Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) general secretary Roz Foyer put forward the case for the Scottish Government to encourage four day working weeks.
The STUC wants the Scottish Government to introduce a national subsidy for companies which switch to a 32-hour working week with no loss of pay.
She said there is widespread public support for the idea, with a report last year revealing that 70% of Scots backed a four-day week, with only eight per cent saying they opposed or strongly opposed it.
Four day week, with no loss of pay, policies could receive now more scrutiny as the country rebuilds from the Covid pandemic.
Andrew Bartlett, chief executive of Advice Direct Scotland, said: “These welcome comments from the STUC show there is growing support for a four-day week.
“The model is already well established in productive and efficient economies in Scandinavia, and Scotland can lead the way in the UK on this.
“This isn’t about businesses just giving staff a free day off each week - we know from our own experience that workers are far happier and more productive as a result, and absenteeism has fallen significantly.
“And what’s crucial is that it makes sense financially for businesses and has a positive impact on the bottom line.
“While the model won’t be possible in every industry, for those workplaces which can adopt it there is much to be gained.”
Joe Ryle, of the 4 Day Week Campaign, said: “A four-day week with no loss of pay is backed by a big majority of Scots, the trade union movement and Scottish businesses.
“Shorter working hours are the best way to share work more equally across the economy during a recession and would bring many other benefits such as improved mental health, a better work-life balance and a boost in productivity.”
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