In a recent ‘hackathon’ hosted by AI experts from Microsoft, Whitehall civil servants gathered to…
The government has advised UK councils against working four-day weeks as it believes this would be unfair to the taxpayer.
Issued by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), the non-statutory guidance states that if any local councils that choose to work four-day weeks show any signs of ‘service decline or failure’, the government reserves the right to ‘raise concerns directly with the authority, monitor performance more closely and consider options to correct declining performance’.
However, the guidance also acknowledges that ‘central government recognises that local authorities are independent employers and individually responsible for setting terms and conditions of employment for their staff.’
Councils currently trialling the four-day working structure have been urged to ‘cease immediately’.
It adds: ‘The department is also exploring other measures to ensure that the sector is clear that this working practice should not be pursued.’
Chair of the Local Government Association’s resources board, Pete Marland, said: ‘It is councils who know what works best for their community, workforce and in their wider labour market conditions.
‘They should be free to pilot innovative solutions to address local challenges and deliver crucial services to their residents.
‘Local voters should be the ones making a judgement on whether local council leaders have made good choices and delivered value for local taxpayers.’