Lunch & Learn: Four-day working week: the benefits and challenges

  • FinTech Wales Events


In 2022, a six-month pilot project commenced in the UK where 61 organisations took part in implementing a four-day working week. Many reported a positive impact on their organisations including improved staff wellbeing and better recruitment and retention.

Although the pilot project has ended, the four-day working week continues to be a high-profile issue but it’s not all positive news. There are concerns about the unintended consequences such as a creating a two-tier workforce and perpetuating inequalities. That’s not all. One local authority that wants to continue to work a four-day week has received a “best value notice” from the Government concerned about the practice.

Employment partner Paula Kathrens and Senior Practice Support Lawyer Debra Gers of Blake Morgan will:

  • Discuss the benefits of a four-day week and the implications for your organisation.
  • Consider the potential challenges and pitfalls.
  • Explain the legal implications.
  • Discuss the unintended consequences.
  • Explain the recent changes to the statutory right to request flexible working and the implications for the four-day week.

As well as discussion and insights from Paula and Debra, there will be plenty of time for questions and networking.

*A four-day week means doing 100% of your work in 80% of working hours but with no reduction in pay.


Debra Gers

Debra is the Senior Practice Support Lawyer for the Employment, Pensions, Benefits and Immigration (EPBI) Group. She monitors key cases and legislative developments and provides legal updates to clients on topical issues as well as future developments.

Debra is responsible for the EPBI Group’s client and public employment training programme, including the Employment and Public Sector Insights webinars and helps public and private sector clients across the country to comply with the challenges of employment law. Debra has significant experience in providing training for a wide range of clients in the private and public sectors.

She devises and presents training seminars across a broad spectrum of employment law issues and utilises a range of training materials from case studies, PowerPoint presentations, role plays and quizzes. Debra takes a very interactive approach to training to ensure key employment topics are covered in an informative and practical way.

Debra is responsible for writing employment law articles for the EPBI team’s quarterly newsletters and E-bulletins and is a regular contributor of articles on employment developments for HR publications and for regional media.

Debra has a BCS Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection.

Debra is a volunteer at the Cardiff pro bono Employment Law Advice Centre and is a trained mental health first aider.

Paula Kathrens

Paula is a partner in the Employment, Pensions, Benefits and Immigration (EPBI) Group, advising key clients in both the public and private sectors including finance services, Welsh Government, further and higher education, housing, health and social care on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law. She advised a number of financial institutions on the implementation of the FCA PRA Senior Manager and Certification Regime.

Paula has specific experience in advising clients in relation to employment related litigation at all levels on claims for unfair dismissal, sex, race, age, disability and other discrimination and high value whistleblowing claims. Paula also advises clients on restructures and reorganisations, outsourcing and TUPE.

Paula was a non executive director of Swansea Building Society for 10 years until her retirement in 2023.  She was chair of the remuneration committee (and as such a Senior Manager under SMCR) and had been a member of the audit and risk committees.  During that period the total assets under management grew from £225m to £607m, the financial services industry regulation was transformed with SMCR and the FCA consumer Duty.

Paula regularly delivers training programmes and seminars for public and private sector organisations.  She is the Training Principal for the firm and is responsible for our trainees. She is also a trained Menopause Mentor

About Blake Morgan:

At Blake Morgan, our expert lawyers work with a range of public sector organisations, businesses and individuals to help find relevant, realistic solutions to complex professional and personal legal issues. Recognised by the leading legal guides for our technical expertise, experience and commercialism, we take pride in helping our clients to manage risk and achieve their goals.

Our clients across Wales tell us it’s our personalised approach coupled with our real-world commercial experience that sets us apart.

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