New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has suggested that employers consider a four-day working week to allow more flexible working as a result of coronavirus. The aim of this is to increase tourism and to help to achieve a better work/life balance across all workplaces. Could UK employers follow in the footsteps of New Zealand by introducing a four day working week?
Jacinda Ardern stated that whether a business wants to give employees a four day working week is ultimately down to the employer. Therefore, if the UK was to follow New Zealand this may be a way that the Government could introduce it by giving discretion to employers and letting them decide what is best for their business.
The virus has had an impact upon everyone’s life, however one thing which business could take away from this experience is how to adapt a business to achieve a much more flexible working style. This is because some businesses which never previously thought about working from home have had no choice but to do so. Therefore, this experience may allow some businesses to feel more confident about taking the step to allowing their employees much more flexible working and to even introduce a four-day working week.
The idea of flexible working to some businesses is not a new idea. Here at Thrive we have always encouraged a healthy work life balance and we trialled a four day working week last year, you can read how that went here https://www.thrivelaw.co.uk/2019/10/22/the-4-day-week-report/.
It is important that businesses consider the possibility of a four-day working week and flexible working because it is unsure when life can/will return to normal; flexible working may have to become the new normal.
For further information about four day working weeks, you can read our blog on the benefits and concerns which a business may face here https://www.thrivelaw.co.uk/2019/07/26/working-9-to-5-4-days-a-week/