Insurance group Freedom rolls out four-day week

Freedom Services Group, a privately-owned insurance organisation, has announced the roll-out a four-day working week scheme, leading the way as one of the first insurance groups to do so.

Freedom, comprising a group of motor-based insurance businesses, joins a growing number of firms – including recruitment companies, such as Girling Jones and MRL Consulting – that are also moving to a four-day week for improved production and better staff retention and attraction.

The pilot will see Freedom offer its 190 employees the opportunity to move to a four-day week. For full-time employees this means reducing to 34 hours over four days, which equates to 8.5 hours from Monday to Thursday. Part-time employees will have the opportunity to reduce their hours by the equivalent pro-rata amount.

The scheme is offered on a voluntary basis and employees are given the choice of opting in or out every quarter, a company statement said. Three-quarters or 75% of employees have opted in for the scheme so far.

In January 2022, Freedom’s Employee Engagement survey revealed a desire for more flexible working models that allowed a better work-life balance. In response, a group made up of seven employees were brought together to examine the feasibility of a four-day week. “Together, they made recommendations that were used to develop a blueprint for the scheme to ensure a smooth transition into the four-day working week from 1 July,” the company said.

The four-day week pilot has been promoted at interview stage as an incentive for Freedom’s recent recruitment campaigns, which has seen 24 new starters join since April 2022.

To ensure the longevity of the scheme, the four-day week will see incremental changes through Freedom’s operation to assist the adoption across the whole organisation as well as measure the effects of the reduced hours. This includes individual development plans with measurable objectives for employees complemented by the implementation of workplace management and engagement tools such as SageHR and Reward Gateway, the company said.

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