Ministers have formally warned councils in England against adopting four-day working weeks for staff. Government guidance says local authorities that have adopted the work pattern should end the practice immediately. While supporters of the four-day week argue that it improves staff wellbeing and productivity, the government believes that it does not represent value for money and is concerned service quality will decline. Lee Rowley, the Minister for Local Government, warned that councils which opt to disregard the guidance “are now on notice” that ministers “will take necessary steps” to ensure that the practice is ended within local government. Noting that more than nine in 10 councils are experiencing staff recruitment and retention difficulties, Pete Marland, chair of the Local Government Association’s resources board, said: “It is councils who know what works best for their community, workforce and in their wider labour market conditions.”
Our HR comment: – Councils told not to adopt four-day working weeks | Consensus HR | Herts, Beds
Matthew P Chilcott, FCIPD, ACEL, Owner of Consensus HR comments: “We have written a number of blogs of hybrid / flexible working and their pro’s / cons and this one in the ‘Guardian’ highlights the action that Government / Ministers are taking against local councils and them adopting a four-day week. It is a subject that has been spoken about many times in a lot of media since the Pandemic and is totally specific to each company and the service is offers. Unfortunately, / fortunately, there is no one policy that will suit all businesses and each business needs to thoroughly investigate the overall pros / cons of adapting this working practice and the working week and take the necessary action. All parties should be included in the decision so as to not create an environment where quality members of the team feel not listened to and only have the option of seeking alternative employment.
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