An independent report by two universities has been published analysing South Cambridgeshire District Council's (SCDC) performance during its four-day week trial.

Of 24 key performance indicators monitored by the council, analysis by the universities of Cambridge and Salford found that 22 improved or remained the same.

Under a four-day week, officers are expected to carry out 100 per cent of their work, in around 80 per cent of their contracted hours, for 100 per cent of their pay. 

Cllr John WilliamsCllr John Williams (Image: SCDC)

Eleven measures were found to be performing better during the trial, including call answering times, timeliness of planning decisions, how long it takes to process benefits claims and speed of emergency repairs to council homes.

A further 11 key performance indicators showed no significant differences during the trial - with the frequency of bin collections also remaining the same.

The two areas that were exceptions in terms of performance were housing rent collected and average days to re-let council housing stock.

Daiga Kamerāde, professor in work and wellbeing at the University of Salford, said: "The trial suggests that a four-day work week maintains the quality of public services as measured by key performance indicators, while attracting new staff and improving workers' wellbeing.

"The pioneering trial can inspire evidence-based innovations in local councils and other organisations."


SCDC's lead cabinet member for resources, Cllr John Williams, said: "This brave and pioneering trial has clearly been a success.

"We know we cannot compete on salary alone and have needed to find bold new ways of tackling our recruitment and retention issues."

The trial has met with significant backlash from Conservatives in South Cambs.

Cllr Heather WilliamsCllr Heather Williams (Image: SCDC)

Leader of the Conservative opposition Cllr Heather Williams said: "It is unjust and it is undemocratic that this four-day week is continuing.

"The trial has ended, but part-time work for full-time pay is continuing at South Cambs when residents have still not been consulted and 80 per cent of councillors have still had no vote."

Since the formal trial finished at the end of March 2024, four-day week working at the council has continued while they await information from the new government.