Scottish Government agency begins 4-day working week pilot

Civil servants at one of Scotland's economic agencies have started working a four day week on a trial basis.

Over the next twelve months, 141 staff members at South of Scotland Enterprise will work for 32 hours across four days, rather than the traditional five. The aim of the pilot is to collect data and feedback to better understand the benefits and challenges of the four day week. 

Throughout the trial, the agency, which supports and advises businesses, social enterprises and community groups across the region, will continue to operate from Monday to Friday. 

The trial, which is part of a twelve month pathfinder project, will form part of the Scottish Government’s four-day working week pilot that was announced in the 2023-24 Programme for Government last month. Confirmation of other public bodies taking part will be announced at the launch later this year. 

Scotland’s wellbeing, economy and fair work secretary, Neil Gray, said work is at “an advanced stage to engage a partner to design, support and produce an evaluation report” for the pilot.

Chief executive of South of Scotland Enterprise, Jane Morrison-Ross, said the pilot "has the potential to provide benefits to our productivity, our workforce in terms of health and wellbeing, and allowing colleagues to contribute further to the regional economy."

It will also provide further intelligence for evidence-based studies around this topic, she says, such as the theory around there being a number of unproductive hours per day for organisations which operate the traditional five-day working week. 

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