Campaign group Taxpayers’ Alliance has written to Councillor Peter Mason, leader of Ealing Council and council leaders across the country asking them to sign a pledge not to implement a four-day working week for council staff.
A four-day week is currently being trialled for council staff in South Cambridgeshire District Council and the TPA said an extension of the trial to March 2024, “is not suitable to conduct such an experiment in the public sector”.
The Taxpayers’ Alliance said having a four-day week reduces the number of hours worked by 20 per cent for the same pay.
The pledge which Councillor Mason was invited to sign said:
“While Brits contend with a 70-year high tax burden, public bodies are moving towards a fully paid four-day working week. That’s roughly equivalent to an extra 52 days of annual leave!
“This is simply unacceptable at a time when taxpayers are already paying over the odds for services that, in many cases, are barely functioning. Despite claims that these working practices will increase productivity, TaxPayers’ Alliance research has concluded that, in the case of South Cambridgeshire District Council, there is no credible evidence that even current levels of productivity can be achieved by merely reducing working time by 20 per cent.
“Our research has previously found that if a four-day working week was implemented across the public sector, this could mean the loss of £30 billion of working time.
“Plans to implement these working practices are still in their infancy, but taxpayers are right to fear that they will soon be made to pay for a part-time public sector.”
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Residents are rightly worried that a part-time council could be coming to their Town Hall. As we’ve seen elsewhere, this experiment leads to poorer services, with taxpayers picking up the tab. We hope council leaders will show their commitment to delivering value for money for ratepayers by signing our pledge.”
When asked by EALING.NEWS if Councillor Mason would sign the pledge, Ealing Council declined to comment.