Recruitment group to trial 4-day week at UK and Europe-based offices

A Brighton-headquartered recruiter has announced plans to trial a four-day working week.

In a statement, released this morning, technology and financial specialist MRL Consulting Group revealed that from mid-May, it will be closed on a Friday – but staff will still receive the same salaries and benefits.

The business, established locally in 1997, also has offices in France and Germany, which will also both change to a four-day week next month.

Speaking at the company’s AGM at the W Hotel in Barcelona, CEO David Stone said: “We have a clear desire to enlarge our team of world-class consultants. And to attract and retain the best people, we need to be a world-class employer.

“There are some incredible people that work for MRL, and I want us to give back to them – to make their lives better, easier and more fulfilling. We have the training in place, excellent packages and limitless career opportunities, but this is about wellness and minimising the things which can cause stress, anxiety and depression.”

According to the Department for Health, one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives. This, Stone said, means that employers need to take a greater responsibility to ensuring their support their people where possible.

“I don’t want to hire people who just want to work a four-day week; I want to hire people who are good enough to do five days of work in four.

“I want to give the staff more time to relax, get the life admin done, do whatever it is they need to do when they’re not in the office; I want them to have real work-life balance. When people retire, I want them to look back and say MRL was the best place they ever worked.”

As a result of the change, the agency’s employees will receive an additional 47 fully paid days off per year.

“Other firms that have implemented a four-day policy have seen significant productivity gains, and not just stood still,” said Stone.

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