The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture looks at how to improve staff resilience and strengthen your business – and that includes creating a ‘risk register’ and focussing on staff motivations to boost loyalty.
There might be other ways ahead.
The European Work-Time Network reports on how the PCS trade union at the Department for Farming and Rural Affairs are calling for a four-day week
Civil servants working at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have submitted a petition calling for bosses to trial a four-day week for staff. The bid is backed by the PCS union and the 4 Day Week Campaign and seeks a pilot scheme that would run across the entire department to test benefits to productivity and staff welfare in what would be a first for the UK civil service. PCS, which is the civil service’s biggest union, said its proposal would involve a 20% reduction in working hours for staff with no loss of wages.
The Civil Service World blog notes that the bid is also backed by the 4 Day Week Campaign and seeks a pilot scheme that would run across the entire department to test benefits to productivity and staff welfare in what would be a first for the UK civil service:
PCS, which is the civil service’s biggest union, said its proposal would involve a 20% reduction in working hours for staff with no loss of wages. The ask comes at a time when ministers are seeking to increase the amount of time officials spend in their workplaces, with new demands for 60% of the working week to be spent in offices or other formal locations rather than working from home.
General secretary Mark Serwotka said the four-day week was growing in popularity in both the public and private sectors and evidence suggested reduced hours led to a better work-life balance for staff and could improve productivity for employers. “Previous trials have led to a reduction in sick leave and improvements to staff retention and satisfaction,” he said. “If Defra wants to seriously address the issues of employee burnout, stress and poor wellbeing they will listen to our members and implement this pilot.”
And over the weekend, both the Farmers Weekly and the Farmers Guardian have covered the story that Defra staff seek four-day week pilot with same pay.
Whilst in the mainstream media, the Daily Mail reports that civil servants demand the right to work a four-day week with no loss of pay as Defra looks to become the first department to try the controversial scheme. And it quotes a piece it ran from earlier in the year pointing out that the four-day working week really DOES work, major six-month trial across 61 UK companies reveals.
In the same piece, the Mail says this comes as ministers continue to put pressure on the first town hall to introduce a four-day week to end its trial – also reported by the European Work-Time Network:
Since the council started its four-day week trial, staff turnover has reduced by 36% and sickness by 33% at a council which introduced a four day week, according to a report. Projected net cost of agency staff covering vacancies has reduced by £776,000. South Cambridgeshire District Council began the trial in January and has ignored government calls for it to end.
Finally, from a couple of weeks ago, here’s the TEDX talk from Joe Ryle, Director of the UK’s Four-Day Week Campaign:
In his TEDx Talk, Joe Ryle explores the outdated nature of the current nine-to-five, five-day workweek and argues for the need for a more modern approach to work. He discusses how despite a dramatic increase in productivity and technological advancements across the world, working hours have not reduced. He advocates for a widespread adoption of the four day week which has been shown time and time again to improve people’s lives, and even have positive impacts on business, too. Joe is calling for a cultural shift, for us to embrace this change as it may be an inevitable part of our future anyway, due to artificial intelligence and new technology.
The subject has been covered before on these pages – for example:
With more from someone who’s written and talked about the issues: