4 day week, or is it hmmmm?

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  • 4 day week, or is it hmmmm?
  • I’ve been told and given a letter to confirm, that from next week, I along with everyone else will be going down to a 4 day week at work.

    They’re expecting a loss next quarter and this is how they plan to cover it.

    It is a fairly small, family owned business, that has the boss, underboss (who is practically family) and 3 full-time staff members who are all family and then the rest of us. There are two departments, on the same site, you guessed it, where the boss and founding father both live. Anyway.

    Essentailly we’re all meant to be going on to a 4 day week, now obviously the bosses and those with family ties are likely, given the situation feel obliged to actually continue to work a 5 day week for 4 days pay. And some who have bigger responsibilty and bigger salaries are also likely to feel the need to see it through.

    That however leaves a small minority of us who are on very average salaries, with no family ties.

    I’ve now been asked, because everyone else upstairs is prepared to work 5 days for 4 days pay, if I would consider doing the same, and it would be a benefit to me?

    Nowhere in the letter does it menton any of this!

    It was put to me as what are you thinking of doing? By my project manager, not the bosses, who seem willing to let the lackey do their dirty work.

    I owe this company nothing at all, I’m underpaid, unapreciated and for very little or no reward.

    Of course when I turn round to them on Monday and tell them that I have signed up for a 4 day week, so that is what I shall be doing, it would seem I’m going to be even more of an outcast than I already am.

    If the letter had said we want you to take a pay cut for the forseeable future for your five day week, at least it would have been pretty cut and dried!!

    It’s not all bad there, it has its advantages – easy to get to, being the main one.

    But I don’t ever recall working for nothing before, perhaps they’ve registered as a bleeding charity!!

    Any thoughts?

    Don’t do it. If you’re really worried about being bullied into it, tell them that you’ll be temping on the 5th day as you need the money.


    Excellent idea trailmonkey.

    Yeh, Im considering the BS route, they’ve thrown enough my way in their time!

    don’t do it – couple of things to consider

    working 5 days for 4 days pay = 20% pay cut

    if theres enough work for 5 days they should pay for 5 days. (eg.my sons firm are on a 4 day week to make the work last longer not just as a cost cutter)

    if they put it in writing and are asking you to sign it becomes contractual, therefore,working 4 days is all thats required and legally they can’t touch you for not working 5. But be careful of other spurious ways to get at you at work – just ensure you are on time, don’t take to longon breaks and do exactly whats expected of you and they’ll find it hard to have a go.

    Also, if people are willing to work 5 days for 4 days pay what incentive is there for the company to go back to paying 5 days.

    People who work for nothing are mugs – unfortunately it’s a lot more common than you think – office workers just hanging back 15mns to finish off etc. People working in call centres been told to make sure there pc is up and running before their shift starts (it only takes 5-10mins but it’s your 5-10mins),site workers clearing away – all unpaid overtime. You work to live not live to work (i hope) so if its not paid don’t play!

    join a union, get your colleagues to join, organise, get better T&C’s , it’s your job – look after it.
    Up the workers!

    trailmonkey – top answer.


    That’s what happened at Reinishaw. All went to a 4 day week but those that were willing to do 5 days work for 4 days pay were told they would be looked on favourably when the inevitable redundancies came around.

    Is it a good job, what do you thing will be happening in a years time?


    I would be honest, maybe asking for an hour or two would be acceptable, but not a whole day unpaid. If they were honestly in need, then i would suggest accruing time in lieu, or some other method but i wouldn’t work completely for free. Life is too short.


    So there is enough work for a five day week but they are only willing to pay you for 4 days? If you’re on 16k, you’re effectively giving the firm over 3 grand. Ask for shares!


    What cars do the bosses drive? What are their houses like?

    I’ll bet things aren’t so bad they need to chop in the cars etc…….

    Brass neck it and act as if you thought they were on a wind up!

    “yeah, good try boss”

    “yeah yeah, Born yesterday I was”

    and even when they try to explain they mean it – act as if they’re still on a wind up.

    “come on, give it up, I’m still not falling for it, nice one mind”

    and then when it finally does come clear – you’ve got the defence that no-one could seriously believe that they meant it, you thought it was just a wind up by the boss

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon

    ditto, surely if there’ work for the 5th day (beyond a sales department which would need to be open to bring in work for the other 4 days) then there’s money to pay you for the 5th day?


    It’s a very mixed message like people say above. If it’s a paycut (which it is), they need to have the balls to tell you. If it’s a 4-day week, spend a day on the bike, decorate, temp, whatever.

    Premier Icon sturmey

    Same happened to us recently 20% pay cut for salaried staff (me).Hourly paid 20% pay cut but 50% work one week the other 50% next week effectivly they work week about but get paid every week less the20%. salaried staff though expected to work as normal which is 48 hours a week although the contract I have is for 38 hours. I do get paid over time after 48 hours. I find it very difficult to take the unpaid day (20%) off without thinking the knives will be out while i’m not there. Iam the only person considering doing it.

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    We’ve been on a 4-day week for a couple of months now. Amounts to 16% pay cut. Company of some 300 employees. Told at the outset that certain “essential” staff would not be affected. As of late some 130 or so “essential” staff have been working Friday’s. Needless to say the majority are managers & marketing staff. The line was that they would be effectively spending Friday’s drumming up new business, but we’ve not seen any yet.

    Would like to say there is an upside to the situation (more riding time etc) but the reality is different. Fridays are usually spent getting under the wifes feet. Luckily the low mortgage rate is offsetting the pay cut, but if the mortgage rate goes up a lot of people will suffer, me included.

    Its a profit making organisation at the end of the day mate, & that profit is not for your pocket so tell them to **** off.


    tell them you are going to use the fifth day to volunteer work to enhance your CV / put something back into the community. That’ll give them a moral quandary!

    Premier Icon epicyclo

    It’s a tough call. The reality is that things are going to get much worse.

    Try to avoid working more than you should – the temping idea was good – but remember that any job is better than no job when things are really bad.

    Above all be diplomatic.

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    Unless the owners can demonstrate they are also cutting back, perk cars removed from the fleet etc. then they are having a laugh. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck….

    Premier Icon white101

    I work for a very large German company who took over my very large UK based multinational almost 3 years ago. Because one of our divisions had a weak 1st quarter the company decided that some of us would be made redundant and others would be asked to take unpaid leave (ranging from 10-30 days). It was made clear that this was being done to maintain the profit margins that the CEO had promised to the major shareholders (3 german banks). Not everyone has to take the unpaid leave and its not clear if the top guys will be doing it, but the whole thing boils my p!ss

    I’m ahead of target, as are most of my sales colleagues, yet it seems to me the German side of the business are taking the opportunity to cut the business down to bare bones.None of this is happening anywhere else around the global business, just the UK.

    When I voiced my concerns to my line manager he said “if you dont you might be out”


    “I’ve been offered a mountain bike job on Fridays (so no possible conflict of interest with current job) to make up the shortfall. I believe in the company and would love to make a commitment but understand that its cashflow situation means that it needs to reduce its immediate costs. Perhaps you could pay me in shares?”

    If they’re being genuine, this is reasonable. If they’re not, **** em.

    Can you look around for another job as backup?


    Keep your head down. Say nowt. Find a better job.

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