The Government has told councils that are trialling the four-day working week to stop doing so immediately.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has also insisted that any councils that are considering implementing the practice in future should rule it out completely.
The guidance follows letters to South Cambridgeshire District Council from Minister Rowley urging the local authority to stop the trial because of concerns about how taxpayers’ money is spent.
According to the publication, reducing a local authority’s potential capacity by 20% does not offer residents value for money.
Minister for Local Government Lee Rowley said: “The Government is being crystal clear that it does not support the adoption of the four-day working week within the local government sector.
“Local authorities that are considering adopting it should not do so. Those who have adopted it already should end those practices immediately.
“Those councils who continue to disregard this guidance are now on notice that the Government will take necessary steps in the coming months ahead to ensure that this practice is ended within local government.”
The guidance stated: “Councils which are undertaking four-day working week activities should cease immediately and others should not seek to pursue in any format. Value for local taxpayers is paramount and no further focus should be given by local authorities on this matter. The department is also exploring other measures to ensure that the sector is clear that this working practice should not be pursued.”
In issuing the warning, the Government insisted that it would continue to support employees’ rights to request flexible working, which would allow them to ask for changes to their conditions and hours without reducing the working week for all staff while keeping pay rates the same.