Ministry of Labor rejects the idea of a four-day working week

2021-05-30

Arbeit macht frei?

The Ministry of Labor said that so far in Russia there are no clear prerequisites for the working week reduction. Earlier, the Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev has proposed the shortened four-day workweek initiative.

Reducing working hours is a primary need for all working people. This is a way of making the life of every member of society different, will give workers the opportunity to put their time into personal growth, physical development and various hobbies, health improvement, and active recovery. At the same time, a few avenues should be explored to make working time shortened: a reduction of daily working hours, an increase of paid leave duration, and a decrease in the retirement age. All these measures should be carried out in such a way as to maintain the level of income, i.e. the reduction of the daily working hours should take place without loss of pay. However, the opposite tends to be the case: the retirement age is being raised in Russia and that makes each person spend more time at work during his lifetime.

Reducing working hours can bring great benefits to society as a whole. Reducing the strain on the body and having a good rest can get an objective health gain of all the people and improve the demographic situation, reduce mortality and increase the birth rate. The manufacturing facilities would also gain from that. As a result of a decrease in fatigue and an increase in the cultural level of workers, an improvement in their health, labor productivity will also go up. In addition, managers of companies are forced to improve technology to maintain the volume of output, to more intensively introduce various innovations and improvements, which means an increase in labor efficiency.

However, these measures do not have quick returns and the impact should be apparent only on a national scale. Therefore, the capitalists have almost always opposed and always are against the reduction of working hours. This only means losing money for them due to the decrease in the added value that they usually put in their pockets. And so is government, hired by the business, also opposed to such innovations.

But now only the maximum working hours per week are limited. Therefore, workers can enter into collective agreements that reduce working day hours with full pay. Of course, employers themselves will not agree to this, so workers will have to fight for such a reduction, and it is necessary to establish independent trade unions at companies for that purpose. Over time, such a struggle will take place all across Russia, which will make it possible to legally reduce the length of the working week while maintaining wages. And this will be the most reasonable proposal.