NI: JMK Solicitors backs island-wide campaign for four-day week

NI: JMK Solicitors backs island-wide campaign for four-day week

Personal injury and road traffic accident specialist firm JMK Solicitors has backed a campaign for the introduction of a four-day week across the island of Ireland.

The Belfast and Newry firm introduced a four-day week with no loss in pay last year following a two-year research project aimed at improving efficiency across its operations.

The firm has now given its backing to a new campaign group launched by Irish trade union Fórsa, which is calling for a four-day week to be piloted across the island of Ireland.

Joe O’Connor, chairperson of Four Day Week Ireland, said: “The four-day week may have seemed like a radical notion for many not too long ago. But more and more workers and businesses are now seeing that it is not only achievable, but is a reasonable, rational response to the challenges our society faces today.

“It’s time to work smarter, not longer. Numerous academic studies, including from John Pencavel of Stanford University in 2014, have shown that there is no correlation between working long hours and greater productivity.”

JMK director Maurece Hutchinson said: “Making people our priority is one of our core values that we strongly believe in, we have fantastic staff, but we never want to be complacent.

“We felt that with increased pressures on people in all areas of their life reduced hours should be considered by more employers. And we wanted to take a leading role.

“The gift of time is the greatest gift we and any employer can give to their team. We are happy to share our experiences with others and are delighted to offer our assistance and insights to our learnings to the four-day week campaign.”

Michelle Murphy, head of operations and HR, added: “The reduced working hours have improved work life balance for all the team, it was brilliant to have had this in place when the pandemic hit as it really gave our team the time they needed to take care of their health and wellbeing and to be there to support their loved ones.

“We have at the very least been able to maintain the same level of productivity we saw in 2019 before the reduction in working hours. We must acknowledge that the work place and work patterns have also been greatly impacted by Covid-19 and we will continue to measure productivity in light of this also in the months and years ahead.”

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