Length of Service
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Length of Service
the time spent by a worker at his job or performing some other activity beneficial to society. According to Soviet law, the length of service is the basis underlying the right to pensions and vacations. It is used in determining the amount of benefits granted for temporary disability and, in some cases, in setting wages. It is taken into account in awarding orders, for example, the Order of the Glory of Labor, and medals, for example, the Veteran of Labor Medal.
Three types of length of service are distinguished—overall, continuous, and special. The overall length of service is the total time spent at a job or some other socially beneficial activity, regardless of the nature of the activity and the length of the intervals between work periods. It is considered in granting old-age pensions, pensions for loss of breadwinner, and disability pensions for nonoccupational illness. The overall length of service, which determines pension eligibility, takes into account the work performed as an industrial or nonindustrial worker or employee or any work which would make an individual eligible for state social insurance. It also takes into account service in the armed forces of the USSR and partisan detachments and study in cadre-training courses, including vocational-technical schools. Time spent studying at higher or secondary specialized educational institutions, party schools, schools of the trade union movement, and graduate schools is taken into account in granting old-age pensions only if it is preceded by work or service in the army. The overall length of service also includes time spent in prison camps and jails or in exile as a result of revolutionary activities under bourgeois governments and the time that a person was kept from working for political reasons under these governments.
When granting pensions to kolkhoz members, the length of service includes (besides work for the kolkhoz) work performed as an industrial or nonindustrial worker or employee, service in the armed forces of the USSR and partisan detachments, and other periods of time that would be taken into account when granting pensions to industrial and nonindustrial workers and employees.
In many cases, privileges are granted in computing the overall length of service. For example, work in the Far North or similar areas is, depending on the period of work, counted double or one and one-half times in determining length of service.
Continuous length of service is the amount of continuous work performed by an industrial or nonindustrial worker or employee at a single enterprise, establishment, or organization and, for kolkhoz members, at the same kolkhoz. The length of continuous service is taken into account in determining the amount of benefits granted for temporary disability and pension supplements granted to industrial and nonindustrial workers and employees. The law states that continuous length of service also includes time spent at a previous job or at another activity at different enterprises and organizations. For example, it applies when an individual transfers from one enterprise to another or changes jobs, on the condition that the length of time out of work does not exceed one month. In some cases, depending on the grounds for dismissal, the law grants a period of two or three months for finding a new job, during which time the continuous length of service is retained. Sometimes the continuous length of service is preserved regardless of the duration of the period of unemployment. For example, it is preserved when starting a new job if the previous job was left by the individual’s own volition for reasons associated with the husband’s or wife’s transfer to employment in another place. Under no conditions is the continuous length of service maintained when a person is discharged for unexcused absenteeism or at the demand of a trade union organization.
Special length of service is based on the nature of the job, the branch of the economy, the working conditions, and the climatic conditions. It may be overall or continuous. It is taken into account in granting pension benefits in varying amounts for old age, disability, long service, and cases of the loss of breadwinner. Special length of service is also considered when determining the wages for certain categories of workers (teachers, doctors) and the wage supplements for other categories (tractor operators) and when establishing certain types of supplementary vacation, for example, for certain categories of workers in ferrous-metallurgy, rail-transport, textile, and light industries. Special length of service is taken into account in granting privileges for work performed in the Far North and similar areas. When bonuses for annual performance are granted from the profit funds of organizations and enterprises, special length of service is also taken into consideration.
The basic document that confirms length of service is the labor book. In addition, length of service may be confirmed by information from business files and from testimony.
V. A. ACHARKAN