Named the risks of switching to a four-day work week in Russia
Of course, we all want to work less, and get more money - this is in the nature of a person. Ideas about switching to a four-day work week with pay in Russia began to be expressed a long time ago, even during the coronavirus pandemic. But they remained on paper, it was believed that employers were opposed. After all, what do they need from an employee? Products. Profit. But here's the paradox: according to the latest opinion poll, 81% of Russian employers vote ... precisely for the four-day period.
According to the results of a survey conducted by one of the major employment companies, employers are a mountain for a four-day period: four out of every five expressed “approval” of the idea.
It is appropriate to recall here that quite recently a certain public business organization, taking into account the problems in the economy, on the contrary, called on the authorities to introduce a six-day period in the country. (Against it, by the way, 82% of Russians spoke out - this is already according to another opinion poll).
Russian employers, although they advocate on paper with a majority of votes for a reduction in the length of the working week, in fact, are not ready for the transition to a new schedule in reality. Only 4% of respondents said they are capable of such a step within the next three years.
According to experts, the "reduced" organization of production has its pros and cons. Among the benefits, they cite "reduced employee burnout." What this actually means is not entirely clear. In any case, there are no statistics of leading workers who “burned out” at work.
And among the shortcomings of the shortened working week, the fact of the inevitable reduction in wages for employees is noted. Everything is clear here.
Although we don’t officially have a four-day period, the Russians are well aware of how it can turn out in terms of their income. Indeed, on a part-time, or part-time working week (why not four days?), Most of our fellow citizens were sitting for the entire period of the coronavirus pandemic. And as soon as they had time to tighten their belts, the reduced salaries for food were not enough for them.
Unlike their employers, Russians, remembering those events, would most likely oppose any experiments in the field of labor legislation. As bitter experience shows, any good intention in this area leads in practice to a drop in income.
Doctor of Economic Sciences, Professor of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation Alexander Safonov believes that the reduction of working hours does not proportionally lead to a decrease in the output of products or services.
- Employers proceed from the fact that such a measure will increase productivity, - he says. – However, certain economic and innovative conditions are necessary for the implementation of this project. Entrepreneurs need to invest in the re-equipment of production, introduce advanced technologies, and invest in optimizing production processes. In order to change the nature of labor and the tools of production - say, not a screwdriver in an assembly plant, but, relatively speaking, a screwdriver. This is not a recent story.
The topic of the four-day period in Russia is a long-standing one, it was first raised by Dmitry Medvedev back in 2021 in the wake of the pandemic. True, he set two strict conditions for employers: that wages remain at the same level and labor productivity does not fall.
In general, so that both the sheep are safe and the wolves are fed. Only how to ensure such harmony, no one knew then, no one knows now.
- During the day, a person works unevenly, - says trade unionist, former Deputy Minister of Labor of the Russian Federation Pavel Kudyukin. - It is believed that after the first four hours, his attention sharply decreases, and this is a very important factor - either on the conveyor, or just behind the locksmith's workbench.
But talking about a four-day week is nothing if we do not indicate the length of the working week. If the current 40 hours are distributed over four days, if they make a shift of 10 hours, it will be just a tragedy. And such a measure certainly will not raise labor productivity. Although we know from history that there were times when the working day left 18 hours. But this is clearly a sad story and from a long forgotten time.
In our country, the length of the working day and the time of rest are the most violated labor law norms in practice. And with a four-day period, if it suddenly appears, there are fears that these norms will be even more massively violated.
- And what is the world experience in this regard?
- In France, a 35-hour work week has long been established, it is enshrined in law. The country's economy did not suffer, salaries did not decrease either. Actually, the trade unions would not go to reduce the income of wage workers.
- How much can the salary of the Russians be reduced?
- If the reduction of working hours leads to an increase in labor productivity, then the salary, in theory, should not decrease. She can grow up. Another question is whether this same increase in productivity will occur?