Four-day week branded an 'impossible fantasy' for the Channel Islands

One Jersey law firm trialed the shorter week last year and have now decided to implement it. Credit: ITV Channel TV

The prospect of introducing a four-day week in the Channel Islands has received mixed reviews from businesses, with some deeming it a success and others a 'fantasy'.

A trial of the scheme in the UK has been hailed as a 'major breakthrough', after 61 companies across a variety of sectors reduced their working hours for all staff by 20%.

A Jersey employment specialist trialed the shorter week last year, and has now decided to implement it again from May for five months.

Heidi Gibaut, Managing Director of Law at Work, says the company has seen more interest from prospective employees since introducing it.

"Once they realise that there's a four-day week on offer, they are a lot more interested in coming to join us," she said.

"That's brilliant, and I think that that will continue, but obviously as more and more businesses start to work on a four-day week we will be no different to anybody else."

Pete Sims found he had more time to do things he'd never had a chance to do. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Peter Sims, an employee at Law at Work, has seen his work-life balance improve since he started working a shorter week.

He said: "It allowed me to take more time out to do the things I wanted to do.

"For example, I spent my my extra days on a four-day week learning to drive, which I've put off for about 20 years."

Industries like farming would not be able to introduce the shorter week model. Credit: ITV Channel TV

But for sectors like farming and hospitality, there are concerns that any move like this would stretch the recruitment crisis even further.

There are currently 1,200 jobs being advertised on the Government of Jersey's website, and some industries feel they would lose out to competitors that can afford to introduce a shorter week.

Business consultant Kevin Keen has described is as a 'fantasy', and says for many businesses the scheme would be 'impossible'.

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