Liberal Democrat council to trial four-day working week on full pay


Liberal Democrat council set to trial four-day week on full pay for staff – including its £119,000-a-year chief executive

  • The trial  by South Cambridgeshire District Council could go ahead next year
  • The plans would include its chief executive who earns £119,000-a-year
  • Bin collectors would then work just 30 hours a week instead of the usual 37

A Liberal Democrat council is poised to trial a four-day week on full pay for staff – including its chief executive who earns at least £119,000.

If the trial by South Cambridgeshire District Council goes ahead next year it is thought it would be the first public sector body in the UK to implement a four-day week.

The trial would start with 470 employees including office workers – including chief executive Liz Watts – and then expand to include blue-collar workers if it is a success.

Bin collectors would then work just 30 hours a week instead of the usual 37 without a pay cut.

The trial would start with 470 employees including office workers - including chief executive Liz Watts - and then expand to include blue-collar workers if it is a success

The trial would start with 470 employees including office workers – including chief executive Liz Watts – and then expand to include blue-collar workers if it is a success

The council said it wanted to try the four-day week – which is awaiting sign-off from council cabinet members – after it had recruitment issues.

For more than a year, the council said it has only been able to fill around eight out of every ten of its vacancies and between January and March this year, only half were filled.

It follows a private sector trial which aims to redesign the working week. 70 businesses with more than 3,300 employees are taking part.

But as The Mail recently reported, some employers who are taking part in the private sector pilot have had to hide their four-day week policy to avoid attracting the wrong applicants.

Claire Daniels, chief executive of Trio Media, said she does not tell new starters about her company’s scheme, adding: ‘We need to make sure we get the right people and not just people who apply because the four-day week is appealing.’

A council report said they will monitor the impact a four-day week has on residents and businesses, and if service levels drop then the scheme will be scrapped.

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