“I have not yet met any opponents of the reduction”
A bill was introduced to the State Duma to reduce the working week by an hour – from 40 to 39 hours. Its author, senator from the Ulyanovsk region, Airat Gibatdinov, explained to MK the essence of his initiative. And the need to shorten the working week was assessed by the head of the State Duma Labor Committee Yaroslav Nilov.
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“The length of the working day or shift immediately preceding a day off or a non-working holiday is reduced by one hour,” the text of the document says. In an explanatory note, Gibatdinov explains that recently the working conditions of employees have greatly increased the pressure on their mental and moral state. According to the parliamentarian, this negatively affects the citizen’s performance.
“I made a proposal to shorten one Friday day by one hour,” Senator Airat Gibatdinov tells MK. – This question arose six months ago. I talked with representatives of independent trade unions, among whom this idea found support. Then I said that in the interests of workers it would be right to give our citizens additional time before the weekend, which they could spend on trips to their dachas and their gardens. Since the time of Covid, workers’ workloads have already been on an irregular schedule, many have had systematic overtime. This is one of the reasons for developing such a bill. This practice is already partially applied before public holidays.
I spoke with some employers before introducing the bill. Some of them complained that if the week was shortened, the salary would have to remain the same, but they would produce less. But many employers told me “Yes, normal practice! By our own internal decision, we let the employee go an hour earlier on Friday.” I have not yet met anyone who is against reducing the work week by an hour.”
The State Duma stated that this initiative requires a comprehensive discussion at the site of the tripartite State Duma Labor Commission in order to respect the rights of the employee and employer. So that in no case do employees lose wages, and the employer does not increase prices based on the fact that they will have to hire additional employees or pay above the established norm, since this hour will already be considered as overtime.
– Reducing the work week by one hour generally sounds attractive! – Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Labor, Social Policy and Veterans Affairs Yaroslav Nilov comments on the senator’s initiative. – And taking into account the fact that we have flexible forms of employment: remote, mixed. At first glance, this may seem unnoticeable from the point of view of maintaining the level of labor productivity, but we must remember that in our country all labor issues and their improvements are considered by a tripartite commission. When an initiative is submitted to the Committee, it will definitely be sent there to carry out an analysis both from the point of view of the rights of the employee and from the point of view of the rights of employers.
We must not forget that we have specialists who work piecework and loss this hour may result in a reduction in wages. We must not allow this to happen. But they should not overload the employer if someone has to work extra or overtime for this hour. What we can get: if the week is shortened by an hour, but the organization continues to work, then this hour must be paid at an increased rate, and this is already a burden on the employer. It’s one thing to let the secretary leave the reception area an hour earlier than the manager on Friday; it’s another thing for the dispatcher who supervises the work. And the place should not be empty.