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Build & Sustainability

Newton Aycliffe manufacturer makes hours switch ahead of potential four-day week

A manufacturer says it is closer than ever to making a landmark switch to a four-day week after condensing staff hours.

BTS Facades and Fabrications has replaced its 40-hour week with a 37-hour rota.

And bosses at the company, in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, say if the move – which hasn’t affected staff pay – is successful, it will pave the way for an eight-day fortnight.

The new contracted hours mean office staff can leave at 1pm on Fridays, due to the façade and rainscreen maker’s flexible working policy, with operational departments’ reduced hours factored in on a rota basis.

Phil Atkinson, BTS’ managing director, said: “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after you.

“I have a lot of faith this new working pattern will see great success based on how hard my team works, along with studies about increased productivity in a shorter week.

“I would love to think that we’re leading the way for the North East in becoming a modern business that puts its staff first.”

He added the trial will be evaluated at the end of the year.

The change was first mooted in a company committee meeting, with Michael Butterworth, project co-ordinator and committee member, praising officials’ openness to change.

He added: “It’s a sign that we are working for a progressive company, which values and trusts its employees.

“It gives the whole team an opportunity to plan appointments without eating into working hours, and it’s good for the work-life balance too.

“The whole team are feeling really positive, and we can’t wait to see more flexibility in the future.”