Trade unions are pressing the UK’s largest mortgage lender Lloyds Bank to implement a four day working week without slashing pay.
The bank has been asked by Unite and Accord to reduce the working week as part of salary negotiations, according to The Sunday Telegraph, who first reported the news.
Unions are pressing Charlie Nunn, Lloyds’s fresh chief executive, to come good on his promise to support “families and work-life balance” by shortening the lender’s working week.
Ged Nichols, general secretary at Accord, said: “We’re trying to start the conversation on this, and it’s something we’d hope to deliver in stages over a number of years rather than a one-off.”
A Lloyds spokesperson said: “We offer a range of flexible working practices that can be agreed with line managers, including part time working, job sharing and compressed working patterns to support our people in finding a healthy work-life balance.”
The union pressure comes as arguments favouring a four-day working week are increasingly entering debate over how to boost productivity levels in the global workforce.
Atom Bank, a digital lender, recently became the largest employer in the UK to introduce a four-day working week.
The Durham-based lender cut staff working hours to 34 hours from 37.5 hours a week.
Mark Mullen, chief executive of Atom Bank, stressed workers have demonstrated they can maintain productivity levels within the scope of a four-day week
“If you can do things as effectively over four days as over five, why be dogmatic?” he said.
Iceland, the country, conducted one of the largest experiments in a bid to measure the effectiveness of a four-day working week, enlisting thousands of businesses across the country.
The onset of the pandemic has partly triggered a shift in employees’ preferences, with greater value assigned to work/life balance and flexible working.
As a result, employers have been scrambling to strengthen staff perks in bid to both retain existing staff and attract new talent.