Introducing a four-day working week “would not be appropriate” for public sector workers, according to the Chief Minister.
But the 7,000-employee-strong organisation - which is the island’s largest employer - is having success with more flexible working arrangements, Senator Le Fondré said.
The concept of a four-day working week has been gaining traction across the globe as a way of improving employee wellbeing and, as a result, their productivity.
Trials of workers being paid the same for shorter hours in Iceland, which took place between 2015 and 2019, were last year heralded an "overwhelming success", with productivity remaining the same or even improving in a majority of workplaces.
Companies across the world are now running their own trials, including in Spain and New Zealand where Unilever is taking part.
Last month, it was announced that a trial would be run in the UK by academics at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, Boston College in the US and thinktank Autonomy. Among those signed up to the trial are a telecoms firm, a video game developer and a training company, while five-star hotel Landmark London and app-based Atom Bank have already voluntarily introduced the shorter week.
This week, Deputy Louise Doublet asked Senator Le Fondré, in his capacity as Chair of the States Employment Board, which is responsible for setting Government workers’ pay and employment conditions, about whether a four-day working week will be considered.
But he said that it was not on the agenda.
“As an organisation we are not considering a four-day working week but instead are promoting a team approach to flexibility which finds a balance between organisational and individual need," Senator Le Fondré explained.
Pictured: The Chief Minister said flexible working was being prioritised instead.
"The breadth of services delivered by the Government of Jersey means that flexibility looks very different depending on the service and role a person is working in. A four-day working week would not be appropriate for many of our service areas.”
He continued: “The Government of Jersey is currently running a number of pilots to trial an approach which considers flexibility around where, when or how many hours people work.
"Early indications are positive with the first pilot reporting that 79% of employees who responded to the survey felt that their wellbeing had improved as a result of increased flexibility and 82% reporting that they felt productivity and efficiency had increased or stayed the same as a result of the changes in working practices.
“When all pilots have been completed findings will be collated and learnings used to help the organisation embed this approach further.”
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