EFRA group campaigns for a four-day week

PCS members in EFRA have seen the evidence, believe in the benefits and are asking for a trial to improve productivity and wellbeing.

This Thursday (25) EFRA members from all over the UK will hold meetings as the next stage of their campaign for a four-day week. Following a hugely successful campaign launch in November, a petition was delivered to the permanent secretary in December. Now members will attend lunchtime education sessions to mobilise colleagues and allies.

Why a four-day week?

The UK has one of the longest working weeks in Europe and some of the worst economic and health outcomes. PCS EFRA group believes it is time to modernise our workplaces and do things differently. People used to work six days as standard; the reduction to five didn’t stall growth.

Recent technological benefits and efficiencies haven’t been passed on to UK employees. French and German workers have shorter working weeks and they are nearly 15% more productive.

What is the evidence?

A wide-ranging 2022 UK trial of the four-day week saw 92% organisations choose to continue, having seen an average 59% reduction in staff leaving and 34.5% increase in revenue. In the trial, 39% of employees were less stressed, 71% reported reduced levels of burnout, and one employer saw staff sickness plummet by 33%.

A four-day week means workers are more energised, more productive, better able to manage caring responsibilities and spend less time commuting.

The recognition that a four-day week is effective is growing and the practice is becoming more and more widespread. The Scottish civil service is about to implement a pilot.

EFRA members believe that managers and policy makers should recognise the potential benefits. They call for a proper trial to test the data, to improve support for the UK’s farmers, nature and food, as well as EFRA staff. It will add value for the taxpayer.

Campaign meetings

These will be held on Thursday 25 January from 12.30-1.30pm in:

  • London: 2MS Seacole, Atrium
  • Newcastle: Lancaster House, Room 104
  • York: Foss House, Room 211
  • Bristol: The Canteen
  • Worcester: County Hall, Room I1 05
  • Weybridge: Goodger Hall.

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