The Scottish government could be preparing to launch a new pilot program to promote a four-day workweek for government and private sector employees.
- Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf spoke Tuesday morning with a new slate of government programs to reset his leadership brand after six months in power.
- Among the expected anti-poverty, climate change, and justice measures, one of the more notable proposals was a four-day workweek pilot program, The Times reports.
- Yousaf did not address the pilot in his proposal, focusing instead on childcare, vaping restrictions, and economic reform proposals, but a spokesperson confirmed to Fortune that a public sector pilot is in the pipeline.
- The UK government previously experimented with four-day pilots last year, finding that the programs were well-received and productive.
- Four-day workweek studies have correlated with a 65% reduction in sick days, 57% lower quitting rates, higher motivation, less burnout, and increased productivity.
Why It’s Important
Four-day workweek proposals have grown increasingly popular around the world in the last few years, with the Scottish Labour Party and the Welsh government both embracing the idea. However, the policy has not been formally implemented outside South Cambridgeshire, where a pilot program was tested for three months. The Scottish government reportedly wants to launch the program both in the public and private sectors.
“There are several independent pilots already taking place in the UK and globally, and by focusing on a public sector pilot we will be able to add additional value to the existing trials,” a Scottish government spokesperson tells Fortune.
As we previously reported, employees worldwide are demanding greater flexibility and freedom in their work. Remote work and hybrid options are in high demand, employees expect more maternity leave and greater benefits, and 94% of job seekers are pushing for four-day work weeks. It remains to be seen whether four-day weeks are viable, with many companies like Microsoft claiming their trials with the method have proven unsuccessful.
“Just like any change it will suit some and alienate others, and the reality may be that the structure doesn’t suit every employee or business model. The truth is that the four-day working week isn’t for everyone,” says Winningtemp CEO Pierre Lindmark.