Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.



in Soviet labor law. (1) The legally established measure of the length of labor in a calendar week. The normal length of a workweek cannot exceed 41 hours. As the necessary economic and other conditions are established, there will be a transition to a shorter workweek. Shortened workweeks, for example, of 36 or 24 hours, have been instituted for certain categories of workers, including minors and persons employed in dangerous working conditions.

(2) A work schedule that determines the number of working and nonworking days in a calendar week. In the USSR the five-day workweek, with two nonworking days (ordinarily Saturday and Sunday), is most common. With the five-day workweek the length of each workday is determined by internal labor regulations or work shift schedules approved by the administration and confirmed by the local factory committee of the trade union (in compliance with the established length of the workweek). The legally envisioned standard workweek should be ensured for each calendar week or, on the average, for a scheduled accounting period. If the total hours of five work shifts according to the schedule are less than the norm for a week, the short hours are worked off, as they accumulate, on one of the two nonworking days, which, in the schedule, is registered as a workday.

At enterprises and establishments where a five-day workweek is not expedient owing to the nature of production and working conditions, a six-day workweek with one nonworking day is established. Under the six-day workweek the length of each workday cannot exceed seven hours with a weekly norm of 41 hours. Where the weekly norm is 36 hours no workday may exceed six hours, and where the weekly norm is 24 hours the maximum workday is four hours.

The six-day workweek has also been instituted for general educational schools, higher and secondary specialized schools, and vocational schools.


In the capitalist countries the struggle of the working class to improve its economic position and the worsening of social contradictions in bourgeois society have forced the ruling classes to legally recognize the eight-hour workday and the 48-hour workweek (for example, in the Federal Republic of Germany, Japan, and Italy). In Great Britain, the workweek of women and minors may not exceed 48 hours, but the length of the workweek for adult men is not controlled by law. In some capitalist countries the working class has won institution of the 40-hour workweek (for example, in France in 1936 and in the United States in 1938).

The length of the workweek in the capitalist countries is regulated not only by law but also by collective agreements. Sometimes the length of the workweek designated in such agreements is less than that established by law (for example, 40 to 42 hours in the Federal Republic of Germany). However, collective agreements apply for the most part only to workers at large industrial enterprises. Legislation in the capitalist countries does not restrict the rights of employers to ask employees to work overtime. In 1972, for example, the average amount of overtime work was 3.5 hours a day in the United States and 3.1 hours a day in Great Britain. Second and even third jobs significantly increase the length of the workweek. There are roughly 4 million manual and office workers who work at more than one job in the United States, and 650,000 in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Thus, because regulations do not establish a length for the workweek but only limit the maximum number of work hours paid for at standard rates, there is a difference between the normative length of the workweek and the actual length. The actual average length of the workweek is a composite figure made up of the extremely short week of some categories of workers and the extremely long week of others.


References in periodicals archive ?
In spite of the resistance, the government is highly expected to continue to push ahead with steps for a work-life balance this year, considering that President Moon Jae-in has promised to cut the maximum workweek from 68 hours to 52 hours.
To induce a compressed workweek would destroy such a work equilibrium.
As emphasized by the good author, a compressed workweek arrangement allows employees to allocate more time for personal and social obligations thus further promoting work-life balance," said Lea Payumo, planning officer of PCW.
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, August 29, 2017 — SimplyCast, a global leader in communication automation, is proud to announce the launch of its new four-day workweek starting in July.
To compensate for the eight-hour loss from the reduced working days, the working hours of the offices or companies may be adjusted accordingly to comply with the 40-hour workweek requirement.
The employee must then receive additional compensation for each workweek that he worked overtime during the bonus period equal to one-half of the hourly rate of pay allocable to the bonus for that week multiplied by the number of statutory overtime hours worked during that week.
Retailers have voluntarily offered health care coverage to their employees and their families for decades, and restoring the historic 40-hour workweek threshold is critical to allowing them to continue to offer this coverage," said Christine Pollack, vice president of government affairs at RILA.
In a resolution released yesterday, the SC said: "The Court resolved, upon the recommendation of the Office of Administrative Services, to deny the implementation of the four-day workweek scheme in the Judiciary.
Recently, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has announced a proposal to switch to the four-day workweek for longer weekends.
Duque, a former health secretary, said traffic conditions in Metro Manila also dictate the adoption of a four-day workweek.
Previously, Sturbridge had a nine-hour work day, a 15-hour night shift and a 45-hour workweek.
Due to the start of the workweek, the number of volunteers involved in the cleaning of the Asparuhovo district has dropped dramatically," the municipal press center says.