Ellie Ames 31 October 2023

Four-day week trial continues despite DLUHC guidance

Four-day week trial continues despite DLUHC guidance image
Image: Andrii Zastrozhnov / Shutterstock.com

South Cambridgeshire will continue its four-day week trial after new government guidance said councils employing the practice should ‘cease immediately’.

The non-statutory guidance made clear that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) did not support ‘trials, experimentation, or pilots’ of the shortened work week.

Council leader Bridget Smith said: ‘On one hand Government tells us to innovate to cut costs and provide higher quality services; on the other they tell us not to innovate to deliver services.’

South Cambridgeshire District Council has been running its trial since September 2022, with an initial three-month pilot extended until March 2024.

Cllr Smith said: ‘At the end of the trial, we will present the evidence to residents and businesses and all councillors will then decide whether to continue with a four-day week.’

She said the council had asked to meet with local government minister Lee Rowley in July to outline the trial’s benefits, but the Government was yet to respond.

Mike Davey, leader of Cambridge City Council, said: ‘We will continue to support the South Cambridgeshire trial to its conclusion and look forward to learning from the outcomes.’

Cambridge shares planning and waste services with South Cambridgeshire and Cllr Davey said the introduction of a four-day waste collection had gone ‘extremely well’ so far.

The DLUHC has been contacted for comment.

For more, check out our feature: ‘Why the four-day week could solve the workforce crisis

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