Four Day Working Week Set to be tried out in Wales
Companies in Cardiff try out a shorter working week to see how employees and productivity are affected.
“A Future Fit for Wales” is a new report written by the commissioner to show a roadmap to a shorter working week which can potentially create thousands of new jobs in the public sector alone. The policy could cost up to one billion pounds but this can be compensated once productivity rises by just 10 percent, this cost would be considered negligible in the long run.
Shorter working weeks are said to make staff happier and healthier allowing businesses to become more productive. Countries across Europe have been trialing this strategy over the past few months and have seen a significant improvement in workforce morale.
One of the first businesses to have implemented this is Cardiff’s Slunks hair salon in Morgan Arcade. The staff have been working a four day week for the past two years without any pay cut. It started due Covid-19. There was a limitation on how many members of staff can be in the salon at the same time, which resulted to a change in rota to accommodate the new social distancing legislations.
Co Owner and manager, Chelsea Thompson says noticed that the team’s positivity and happiness has increased drastically. She said the salon makes the same money if not more revenue since their business changed. The salon did not face any losses despite a reduction in working hours. They are urging other workplaces to offer the same to their employees.
The Trade Union Congress in Wales supports this policy. Policy officer of TUC, Ceri Williams says the policy will allow for better working hours and creates better opportunities for workers to have proper contracts that guarantee working hours. The workforce would have better flexibility, and choice for when and where they work. The pandemic has highlighted to employees that their priorities must change and to fit in their health and lifestyle as their main priorities.