Firm 'stronger' after adopting four-day week, says boss
PUBLISHED: 11:26 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:03 19 November 2019
A four-day working week introduced at a Suffolk factory five years ago has "absolutely transformed" the lives of its employees - and boosted productivity, its boss said.
The Labour Party has come under fire for a pledge to cut the full-time working week from 37.5 hours, taking it to 32 hours over a 10 year period.
The average UK full-time working week is 42.5 hours against a European Union average of 41.2, according to statistics body Eurostat.
The bold move was criticised by big business lobby group the CBI which claimed that without productivity gains it would push many businesses into loss.
But Rachel Garrett, managing director of CMG Technologies, based in Rendlesham, near Woodbridge, said they had introduced a four-day week some time ago after deciding to implement a "better and smarter way of working".
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The manufacturing firm - started by Rachel's dad, Chris Conway, in the late 1990s - employs 22 staff. It recently featured on an ITV4 Made in Britain documentary, which highlighted its unique metal injection moulding (MIM).
The £2.4m turnover business makes intricate parts for items such as razors and scalpels using a unique process which enables metal to be moulded to create precise, complex parts with low wastage.
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Ms Garrett said the four-day working model had worked well for staff - and for the business.
"It has absolutely transformed life for our employees - creating significantly lower job stress and helping them strike a better work-life balance," she said.
"Beyond wellbeing, our team is stronger and functions better and this has impacted the bottom line and allowed us to retain our very valuable employees.
"What we do is very specialised so it's vital we attract and retain talent and the four-day week appears to be the icing on the cake for employees who want to split their week in a more efficient way."
They were "thrilled" to have featured in the ITV4 documentary for their work in making razor heads for Edwin Jagger Safety Razors, she said.
"To be able to show the part that we play in producing a British-made product is fantastic."
Among other things, the firm supplies 40,000 scalpels a month to the NHS.