Medibank initiates four-day workweek pilot programme

Dubbed “The Gift”, this initiative aims to revolutionise work practices, boost productivity, and prioritise employee wellbeing.
By: | October 24, 2023

Australia’s Medibank is set to embark on a six-month pilot programme implementing a four-day workweek for 250 employees. This initiative, named “The Gift”, adopts the 100:80:100 model, ensuring that employees retain their full pay while working 80% of their usual hours, with the expectation of maintaining 100% productivity.

This progressive step comes amidst a growing demand for flexible work arrangements, accelerated by the transformative impact of the pandemic on Australian workplaces. Several organisations, including Unilever, have already experimented with the four-day workweek, yielding positive results such as increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and lower employee turnover.

The initiative has been crafted in collaboration with 4 Day Week Global, a non-profit organisation, and will be monitored and evaluated by Macquarie University Business School’s Health and Wellbeing Research Unit, reported 9News.

The Australian health insurer views this initiative as a crucial step in revolutionising traditional work practices while enhancing productivity, “We’re really wanting to bring the future of work into the now of work,” said Kylie Bishop, Group Lead for People, Spaces and Sustainability at Medibank.

She further elaborated, “For more than 18 months now, we’ve been exploring how we can work smarter, offer greater flexibility, and create the best health and wellbeing for our people, in support of our customers.”

READ MORE: Taking time off? Moving beyond the four-day workweek

Bishop emphasised that the four-day workweek is not about compressing work hours but rather about eliminating inefficiencies and rethinking time-consuming tasks that add little value, as she explained, “Our hypothesis is that by creating the opportunity for even greater flexibility, our people and teams will adjust their way of working to improve the value of their outputs and reduce unproductive time.”

“As a result, our people will be happier and healthier, and absenteeism and employee retention will improve. We think that’s worth trying and learning from.”