Continuous Work Week

Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR, Working Hours and Rest Periods in Undertakings and Institutions, which are to adopt the Continuous Working Week. September 24, 1929

 

Original Source: Sbornik zakonov S.S.S.R., No. 63 (1930), Art. 586.

In order to introduce a normal working regime into undertakings and institutions which are to adopt the continuous working week, by means of a more uniform distribution of working hours and rest periods, and at the same time maintaining the present number of hours worked annually, and the average number of rest days, the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR decree:

(1) In every undertaking which is to adopt the continuous working week, except constructional undertakings and those in which work is of a seasonal nature, a five-day working week is to be introduced (four days work and one day rest).

In every institution adopting the continuous working week, the five-day working week (four days work and one day rest) is also to be introduced. At the same time, in institutions having a six-hour working day, there is established a working day of seven hours (including a break of half an hour).

If in individual undertakings and institutions there are special conditions of work, a different working week may be applied by way of exception, if permission is given to:

(a) undertakings and institutions of general national importance, by the People’s Commissariats of the USSR and other State organs under whose direction the undertakings or institutions in question are;

(b) undertakings and institutions of regional importance by the various People’s Commissaries of the allied republics and other organs of those republics;

(c) undertakings and institutions of local importance by the various organs (not lower than regional or provincial organs), or organs of the autonomous republics; in the case of allied republics having a direct district authority, not lower than area organs.

This permission is only given with the approval of the People’s Commissariats of Labor of the USSR and of the allied republics and the local organizations, and also of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions, and of the republican and local inter-allied unions, according to their competence.

In the case of constructional undertakings and undertakings whose work is of a seasonal character, the length of the working week shall be specially fixed by the Government commission attached to the Council of Labor and Defense, for the transfer of undertakings and institutions to the continuous working week.

(2) The number of days of rest per week of each worker in the undertakings and institutions mentioned in article 1 having a five-day working week must not be lest than 72 per year, including those weekly rest days which fall within the period of regular leave.

(3) The unbroken weekly period of rest of each worker in the undertakings and institutions mentioned in article 1 must be not less than 39 hours. It is left to the People’s Commissariat of Labor of the USSR to authorize certain undertakings and institutions to depart from this regulation, according to the length of their midday interval.

Workers in undertakings and institutions who are working in two or more shifts are allowed to accumulate their weekly rest periods, but not for more than four working weeks. In this case the length of each weekly rest period may be more or less than 39 hours, but not less than 24 hours, and must average not less than 39 hours for the period calculated.

(4) In the enterprises and institutions mentioned in article 1, the unbroken weekly rest period may be taken by the workers in rotation on different days, according to special time tables drawn up by the administration of the undertaking or institution, with the approval of the factory (local) committee or the organ replacing it.

(5) It is forbidden to deprive the worker of his unbroken weekly rest period on the day allotted to him according to the time table.

In exceptional cases, when a worker has had to work on his weekly day of rest in order to execute necessary repairs, etc., he must be granted another day of weekly rest within the next two working weeks.

Pecuniary compensation in lieu of weekly rest is not allowed.

(6) In the undertakings and institutions mentioned in article 1 no work must be done on the following revolutionary days:

(a) Anniversary of the 9th January, 1905, and the anniversary of V. I. Lenin (the 22nd January);

(b) Days of the International (the 1st and 2nd May);

(c) Anniversary of the October Revolution (the 7th and 8th November).

This regulation does not extend to continuously working undertakings in which a cessation of work is impossible for productive and technical reasons, nor to undertakings and institutions in which a cessation of work is impossible by reason of their public character (hospitals, telephone exchanges, tramways, waterworks, etc.), nor to the execution of necessary repair work.

The celebration of other revolutionary events takes place without any modification of working hours. On New Year’s Day and on all religious holidays (previously special days of rest) work continues as usual.

Note: Revolutionary holidays are not included in calculating the working week.

(7) Work on revolutionary holidays undertaken in accordance with the second part of article 6 is paid for:

(a) in the case of time-work-double the scheduled rate (wage), including the established supplements (guaranteed bonus, supplements on a percentage basis, etc.);

(b) in the case of piece-work-double piece-work rates.

With the consent of the workman, pecuniary compensation maybe replaced by the grant of another day of rest.

(8) Extra time worked on all days other than revolutionary days is paid for on the usual basis, according to labor legislation.

(9) In the undertakings and institutions mentioned in article 1 the length of working time on the eve of revolutionary days and weekly rest days is the same as on other days.

(10) In continuously working undertakings and institutions it is permitted to accumulate working time during the periods established by the regulations regarding the rotation of shifts, but for not more than one month. However, only such working time as does not exceed the normal number of working hours included in the period in question is counted as normal working time.

The rules for the application of the present article are laid down by the People’s Commissariat of Labor of the USSR

(11) The length of the daily rest period (between shifts, etc.), of workers in the undertakings and institutions mentioned in article 1 must, in any case, taken together with the interval for meals, be not less than double the length of working time of the working day (shift) preceding the rest period.

(12) A collective or labor agreement may include an obligation on the part of the workers of the undertakings and institutions mentioned in article 1 to perform the same kind of work in different workshops, or departments, or at different benches, or to execute work of a different class.

The form, order and amount of remuneration is, in this case, agreed on by the parties.

(13) As regards the undertakings and institutions mentioned in article 1, the working time of which is governed by special regulations (railroad transport, water transport, etc.), the present decree shall apply with the modifications necessitated by the special decrees relating to them.

Source: Selection of Documents Relative to the Labour Legislation in Force in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1931), pp. 95-98.

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