Four day working week pilots fund: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Information relating to the £10m fund to support pilots of a four-day working week:

  1. Further to the 2021/22 Programme for Government, how much of the £10m fund to support pilots of a four-day working week has been spent?
  2. On what date was the four-day working week fund established? If it hasn’t yet been established, on what date will it launch?
  3. How much of the £2 million announced in that Programme for Government document for “this year” [2021/22] was (a) allocated and (b) spent within that year?
  4. Please provide a list of the companies or any other organisations that have (a) applied for or (b) received funding, and details of each of the projects supported by this funding.
  5. Please provide projections for the timescale and purpose of the remainder of the £10m.
  6. Please provide details of (a) how funding can be applied for and (b) the criteria the Scottish Government uses to distribute funding.


  1. No funds have been spent to date.
  2. The four-day working week project has yet to formally launch. The Scottish Government has had to make some difficult decisions around prioritising our commitments in the current economic climate. There have also been significant developments around shorter working week research since the Scottish Government pilot was announced in August 2020 with several independent pilots taking place in the UK and globally during this period. The Scottish Government recognises the environmental, health and wellbeing benefits, and efficiency gains that a four-day working week could bring and plan to take forward unique pilots in public sector organisations in Scotland, focussing on a part of the workforce that hasn’t been captured by existing trials. The 2023-24 Public Sector Pay Strategy maintains our commitment to a four-day working week pilot in the public sector to determine our future policy. We anticipate that the pilot will begin later this year and will provide further details in due course.
  3. No funds were allocated or spent in Financial Year 2021/22.
  4. Four organisations applied to deliver the work of the Centre for Workplace Transformation which included the design, operation and evaluation of the four day week pilots. The organisations were The Scottish Centre for Employment Research, Timewise, Autonomy and The Centre for Research on Work, Employment & the Professions. No award of funds was made to any organisation, since emergency budget review exercises necessitated a pause to the project.
  5. £200,000 has been allocated to support the four-day working week public sector pilot announced as part of the Pay Strategy. Further details on the progress of the pilot will be provided in due course.
  6. We are still developing the policy delivery of the pilot and will provide details of the funding criteria in due course.


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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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