“Move in this direction”: what are the prospects for introducing a four-day working week in Russia
The proposal of the trade unions to consider the possibility of introducing a four-day working week in Russia provoked a wide public discussion. This idea was commented on by representatives of the Federation Council, the State Duma and the Kremlin, as well as a number of experts. Meanwhile, opinions were divided: some consider the initiative a “beautiful dream”, others speak of it as “today's realities”. What are the prospects for Russians to switch to four working days a week - in the material RT.
The proposal to introduce a four-day work week in Russia provoked an active discussion in society.
On August 13, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR) announced that it supported the idea of introducing a four-week work week in Russia while maintaining the same wages. A few months earlier, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev spoke about the possibility of transitioning the global economy to a four-day working week as the basis of a social and labor contract.
“We propose to consider this issue in the Russian tripartite commission for the regulation of social and labor relations, taking into account existing labor remuneration systems, differences in working hours and other features of the organization of labor in Russia,” the trade union organization said.
It should be noted that the FNPR is the largest union of trade unions in Russia, in which more than 20 million people are members.
The Ministry of Labor responded to the initiative of the FNPR. As stated in the department, the reduction of the working week in Russia to four days should be discussed with the participation of trade unions and employers. At the same time, as emphasized in the ministry, employers cannot set a working week longer than 40 hours. At the same time, there is no lower bound for the working week.
“Thus, within the framework of social partnership (collective agreement) in organizations today, both the number of hours in a working day and the number of working days themselves can be reduced,” RIA Novosti quotes the text of the message of the Ministry of Labor.
Later, the Kremlin responded to the initiative. According to the press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov, the transition to a four-day working week in the presidential administration is not discussed.
“We know that there are such initiatives, we know that they are being introduced, proposed, but so far this has not been discussed in the administration,” RIA Novosti quoted Peskova as saying.
The topic received a wide response - many experts and politicians expressed their opinion on this matter. So, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky expressed the opinion that one should switch to a four-day working week in Russia from the beginning of autumn.
In his Instagram profile, Zhirinovsky said that “a shorter work week will not only save the health of our citizens, but also increase the efficiency of their work.”
“Our position: the transition to a four-day work week should take place on September 1,” the politician concluded.
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Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy Valery Ryazansky called the transition to a four-day working week “a beautiful dream”. In his opinion, the economic situation at the moment does not justify a reduction in working time.
“This is a good, beautiful, but a dream, and a dream for a very distant future. Now, the transition to a four-day week could only happen if the domestic economy were weak and we were not able to load our employees with a five-day work week, which was accepted around the world, ”RIA Novosti quotes Ryazansky.
The vice-speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament, Sergey Neverov, is of a different opinion. He believes that the four-day workweek is “today's realities.”
“The world has changed rapidly. These are the realities of today: many can work remotely, someone can work less, but more intensively. For many professions, this is true, ”Neverov wrote on Facebook.
He added that at the beginning of the autumn session, the State Duma will begin “to work out this topic with experts, employers, representatives of trade unions and various industries in order to reach a balanced solution.”
Note that earlier the media cited the opinion of experts that the transition to a four-day work week can lead to health problems. Doctors interviewed by news agencies suggested that an increase in the amount of free time would provoke an increase in the number of diseases associated with obesity and neurotic disorders.
The deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Health Protection Leonid Ogul does not agree with this point of view. He expressed the hope that most Russians are active people.
“Honestly, it’s even a shame that the Russians were recorded as loafers and parasites. Of course, a certain percentage of such "elements" are in any society. But the majority, I am sure, are people who are active and active, ”the RIA Novosti politician quotes the opinion. He expressed the opinion that people will find something to do on an extra day off.
“They will go in for sports, spend time with children, go to the cottage or go fishing,” the deputy suggested.
“Do not make a social breakdown”
VTsIOM previously published the results of a survey from which it followed that almost half of Russians (48%) would not support the transition to a four-day work week. The main reasons for rejecting this idea among the respondents were a decrease in wages (82%) and a drop in labor productivity (67%).
The State Duma believes that society will sooner or later come to a four-day work week. About this RT said the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Labor, Social Policy and Veterans Affairs Yaroslav Nilov.
He also stressed that the unions acted correctly and correctly when they proposed to consider the introduction of a four-day work week.
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“In general, they agree with the movement in this direction, and they proposed to discuss it at the site of the tripartite commission (on the regulation of social and labor relations. - RT ). This is the right step, ”the parliamentarian said.
According to him, the vector has already been determined and the movement towards reducing the working week is ongoing. But unresolved problems remain, the deputy says.
“There are a lot of questions, and only through dialogue it is possible to gradually, slowly, not revolutionaryly, but evolutionarily move in this direction so as not to cause a social breakdown, so that there is no blow to the economy, business and interests of citizens,” concluded Nilov.
According to the scientific director of the Department of Labor Economics and Personnel at Moscow State University, Riorita Kolosova, a four-day work week is a very realistic prospect, but not in the near future. According to her, its implementation is determined by two factors: the level of labor productivity and wages.
“The four-day work week assumes the same level of salary as it was. The salary of products should be sufficient to save wages, for this the products must be produced at high productivity. These two factors determine the time of implementation (four days. - RT ), ”said the expert in an interview with RT.
She also noted that a four-day work week can not be introduced in all types of work.
“Four-day period assumes that the necessary amount of work, products of this type of activity is formed and created in four days,” the expert believes. “Employment can be reduced to four days - this is one plot, and the work itself as an activity can not be turned into a four-day one in some cases.”