How would Factory Fortnight work in 2023?

Would this forced two weeks off work decades after its inception?

Factory Fortnight, a common practice in the 60s, was when factories would be shut for a two-week period, normally at the end of July to give the workers time off and would allow maintenance of the plant to be carried out without disruption.

However, in a world where when we think of 'work' what stereotypically comes to mind is sitting behind a laptop, how would the Factory Fortnight work within your business. Does it have a place, or is it something that wouldn’t be feasible?

Whilst we would all be appreciative of a two-week holiday, there are several factors that have to be considered when it comes to carrying out a company-wide Factory Fortnight.

Business needs

Sadly, if your business is customer facing or has deliverables that have SLAs that can’t be extended past a couple of days, then this might not work for you. If we think about work that is carried out behind a desk, it is all dependent on the way in which a company is structured and how contracts are paid.

For example, agencies would probably struggle with this given that most earn their income through time spent, rather than by projects completed.

However, in companies where projects are continuous, a Factory Fortnight might work between the end of one project and the beginning of another.

Additional or within the compensation

There would also be the debate of how much free-reign the employer would have when it came to how this time off would be taken in relation to the employee. For example, one employer could add the two weeks to their employees compensation package. On the other hand, one other might deduct it from the standard number of annual leave days they have.

This would mean that employees who would prefer to work during these two weeks and allocate the holiday days elsewhere would fall short.  

Positives of the Factory Fortnight reset

If your company decided to pursue the avenue of taking a Factory Fortnight, this could be beneficial for several reasons:

·      Forced reset away from the desk – return refreshed

·      No disruption compared to normal annual leave when colleagues might get in touch

·      Most employees don’t take more than a week off at a time

·      Added value as an employee

·      Human focused approach

Given this, would you consider a Factory Fortnight?