As the above article illustrates, pay rises can be tricky to navigate in a depressed economy. This is making recruitment and staff retention one of the most challenging aspects facing employers today. One thing many employers are trialling to much success is the compressed hours, four-day week. Employees working a fulltime week over five days typically have hours compressed to 32-35 hours a week over four days with no drop in pay. Whilst not a pay rise it does effectively give more money for less work and is an attractive benefit for staff retention.

A trial group of Irish employers involved in a study by University of Dublin has found that adopting the system has not impacted productivity and all employers involved in the scheme will be continuing with the scheme with nine of the twelve having already announced a permanent transfer. In addition to being attractive staff retention method the four day-week can also save energy costs for the employer as having the office closed for one day, or, at half capacity on Mondays and Fridays, will lead to reduced consumption.

Whilst it is something many employers are naturally sceptical about it will be interesting to see how many adopt this policy and if it will become the norm in years to come.