A four-day work week pilot programme is set to begin in the United Kingdom.

Dozens of British businesses have volunteered to participate in a trial scheme that would give staff four-day work weeks.

Thirty companies have agreed to participate in the six-month pilot, which would allow employees to work up to 32 hours each week without losing pay or benefits.

“According to Joe Ryle, director of the UK’s Four Day Week Campaign, “moving to a four-day week would be a win-win for companies.”

“Studies suggest that  productivity rises, as well as employee motivation.”

Other countries, such as Spain, New Zealand, and Iceland, have conducted similar trials. There will be more in Canada and Australia.

Four-day workweeks result in maintained or enhanced output, according to a four year trial performed by the Icelandic government and the city of Reykjavik.

The Icelandic government said last summer that the vast majority of the country’s workforce — 86 percent — “is currently working lower hours or earning the ability to work shorter hours.”

The statement stated, “Worker wellbeing dramatically increased across a range of measures, from perceived stress and burnout to health and work-life balance,” adding that revenue “remained neutral” during the trials.

Similar findings in its own experiments prompted the Spanish government to offer financial incentives to enterprises who reduce working hours without reducing wages.

In the United States, the idea of a four-day work week looks to be gaining traction.

A group of Democratic members in Congress filed legislation last month that would reduce the regular work week from 40 to 32 hours.

If the bill passes, firms will be required to pay overtime to employees who work more than 32 hours each week.

“It’s past time that we prioritised people and communities over corporations and their profits — finally prioritising the working class’s health, wellbeing, and basic human dignity over their employers’ bottom line,” said co-sponsor House Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington State.

“The 32-hour work week would go a long way toward finally righting that balance.”

Some businesses in the United States are not waiting for Congress’ approval. Instead, they’ve self-imposed a four-day, 32-hour work week.

Last November, Bolt, a San Francisco-based e-commerce company, implemented a permanent four-day work week for its employees.

“Moving to a four-day week would be a win-win for companies.”

 Joe Ryle, director of the Four Day Week Campaign in the UK

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