Leeds City Council decides against introducing four-day working week for staff
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The authority’s head of HR Andy Dodman, confirmed the idea was not being “actively pursued”.
The concept is being trialled at councils in South Cambridgeshire and Wales, as well as at organisations in other industries.
In South Cambridgeshire’s case, the authority defied a government order to stop the pilot, with the leader saying it’s saved cash and made recruitment easier.
But speaking at a scrutiny board meeting on Monday, Mr Dodman ruled out any immediate prospect of Leeds following suit, though he said the post-pandemic shift to flexible working had gone down well with staff.
The issue was raised by Liberal Democrat councillor Diane Chapman, who suggested a four-day week might reduce work-related stress.
Mr Dodman said: “We have briefly looked at this (but) we’re not actively pursuing a four-day week here in Leeds.
“However, colleagues will know that during the Covid period and thereafter, we did introduce fairly robust hybrid working principles, which have built in flexibility in the workplace.”
Mr Dodman said the move allowed staff to work in a different way while still getting their jobs done.
Addressing Councillor Chapman directly, he added: “As you rightly suggest, that can have a positive impact on people’s working environment and mental health.
“From the outcome of the staff surveyed, we know that’s working well. There’s more to do, and we recently refreshed those hybrid working principles, based on feedback from staff.
“Our approach at the moment is to focus on that and see where that takes us over the next six months.”