Labour rejects Green call for a 4 day working week to help council workforce with the cost of living crisis

Lambeth Labour Councillors rejected a Green motion for a 4 day working week at October’s full council meeting, despite backing from trade unions, industry experts and many Labour MPs. 

The motion would have seen the council undertaking a trial for a 4 day working week with no loss of pay. The Green councillors highlighted the potential of a 4 day working week to help alleviate the financial strains on those most vulnerable to the cost of living crisis. The text stated that all working arrangements for Lambeth Council staff should take into account childcare, disability, physical and mental health, financial strains, transport costs and other caring duties. 

They also pointed to research indicating either gains in productivity or no net loss to employers. More than 70 firms are currently participating in a nationwide trial which sees the working week reduced by 20% with employees still receiving 100% of their pay. Of those who responded to a survey, 86% said they intended to make the move to a four-day week permanent. 

Cllr Nicole Griffiths (Streatham St Leonard’s) said:

The four day trial currently being carried out nationwide has so far proven to be a hit with both workers and employers. Results have shown an increase in work satisfaction and wellbeing for workers alongside higher productivity levels. This is a common sense approach, especially given rising costs, to providing families with a more flexible way of working that can alleviate some of the everyday struggles to meet responsibilities such as child care.”

Cllr Scott Ainslie (Streatham St Leonard’s) said:

Sadly, Lambeth Labour have again shown they are fundamentally unserious about making the structural changes needed to help workers’ financial and mental wellbeing during the cost of living crisis.”  


[1] Firms in four-day week trial will make it permanent

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