30 July 2021

87% of Scottish Government workers support a four-day week

Most workers want to see a four-day working week pilot implemented across all business areas of Scottish Government, according to a scoping project of more than 2000 employees.

These results are included in a new report out today by the independent think-tank Autonomy and supported by PCS in Scotland. 

The report’s findings suggest that moving to a four day week would boost productivity to such an extent that many business areas within the Scottish Government could make the change without having to employ new staff. 

The report demonstrates clear, perceived benefits for the employer. These include retention and recruitment of staff, being seen as a pioneer in setting new working time standards for the Scottish economy; and having a healthier workforce.

The four-day working week with no reduction in pay has gained prominence across the world since the Covid-19 pandemic. National-level pilots are planned in Scotland, Spain and Ireland and successful trials have already taken place in Iceland. An increasing number of businesses in the private sector have already moved to a four-day week including some Scottish organisations.

Cat Boyd, PCS national officer, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that we are able to work in ways many employers told us weren’t possible before.

"Through this project, Scottish Government staff are making it clear that the future can be different, that it can be better for workers, employers, the economy and the environment.

"The Scottish Government should now lead the way on the four day week by working with PCS to make these possibilities into realities.”

Will Stronge, director of research at Autonomy, said: “This study shows the wide breadth of support there is for a four day week across Scottish Government.

"The SNP already have a national-level pilot planned but there is now a strong case for expanding this to include government workers. The four-day week is an idea whose time has come.”

Download and read a full copy of the report.

This week, Scottish packaging specialist UPAC confirmed it is moving to a four-day week for all staff with no reduction in pay or holiday entitlement.